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(UK) Newark: Family Hub to open later this year

Jan 6, 2023, Newark Advertiser: Family Hub, offering support to parents and children, to be launched in Newark

N. England

A Family Hub, offering support to parents and children, could open in Newark later this year. Family Hubs offer early help and support to families and intend to be a one-stop shop for services, including breastfeeding, mental health, intensive parenting support, childcare and healthcare, as well as advice on jobs and training.

Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council both plan to open their first hubs this year.

The city council plans to open them in Bestwood, Broxtowe, Hyson Green and the Meadows, while the county council plans to open hubs in Retford, Newark and Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The hubs offer support through pregnancy, early years, childhood and adulthood up to 19 or 25 for people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The move is part of the Conservative government’s manifesto, which planned to roll out family hubs as a replacement for Sure Start children’s centres, which were introduced under the Labour government.

The Government announced 75 local authorities which have been selected to receive funding through the £301.75m [$366M] Family Hubs and Start for Life programme.

However, Conservative-run Nottinghamshire County Council missed out on Government funding, which prioritised the most deprived areas in the country.

Nottingham City Council was successful.

But Colin Pettigrew, corporate director for children, families and cultural services at the county council, said it has not stopped the authority from continuing with the work for Family Hubs.

The comments were made during the Nottinghamshire County Council children and families select committee.

Francis Purdue-Horan (Ind) said during the meeting that it was disappointing the council was not successful in its bid.

He said: “What plans do we have to bid for further funding and what lessons do you think we have learned from the failed bid last year moving forward?”

Mr Purdue-Horan added: “It’s clear that the county council need to address their processes to help children and families most in need.

“I welcome the council promising to step up their efforts to secure funding. Every pound spent on supporting families most in need is a pound well spent.”

Mr Pettigrew replied: “My understanding is that we were only just unsuccessful.

“So if you stacked the 152 local authorities in the country the government were able to fund the first tranch of them and Nottinghamshire just didn’t make the cut.

“Family hubs are often used in the same sentence and description as children’s centres.

“One of the things we forget about children’s centres is it took from 2000 to 2008 for them to be introduced across England. It was introduced in tranches.

“We weren’t successful in the first tranch but that hasn’t stopped us doing the work we need to do.”

Tracey Taylor, cabinet member for children and young people, said the council secured alternative funding through the Department of Education’s regional improvement funds.


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