Families in Stoke-on-Trent are benefitting from help and support from a range of city council, NHS and voluntary sector services, thanks to the continued rollout of Family Hubs in the city.
Bentilee Family Hub officially launches on 20 September at the former Treehouse Children’s Centre, Dawlish Drive, Bentilee as part of a project being delivered with over £3.5 million of Government funding.
Family Hubs offer bespoke advice and guidance to local communities, empowering families to enable them to thrive. In Bentilee, this includes not only support from city council, NHS and voluntary sector services but also through the city council’s unique partnership with Alpha Academies Trust.
Working with the network of academies (including The Discovery Academy and Maple Court Academy in Bentilee as well as other schools in the city) will provide educational support for children and young people in the local area.
Alongside supporting children’s educational attainment, wellbeing and life chances, the Family Hub will provide activities and groups for children and families as well as help with household budgeting, discounted food, pregnancy advice and support. Previously these services could be disjointed and hard to navigate but Family Hubs provide a single access point to support from a range of services.
Councillor Lynn Watkins, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I firmly believe that by engaging with parents and carers in the city in a positive and supportive way we can make a huge difference to the life chances of children across Stoke-on-Trent, so I’m thrilled to see a new Family Hub launching to support families across the city.
“Childhood experiences shape the rest of our lives but, in the current cost of living crisis, families may be struggling. Family Hubs can help to combat this in a joined-up way as we work with all of our partners in the education, NHS and voluntary sector to support families, children and young people who may need it.
“We want local families to feel a sense of ownership of our Family Hubs and to help shape and develop the offer. These are your local services so please come along, make use of everything that’s on offer and give us your feedback.”
Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of the city council, said: “This is a prime example of the incredibly important work we’re delivering to bring in early intervention to better support the whole family when they first need support, not just at crisis point.
“We know that early intervention and support for families leads to far fewer children in care and that means that support services like the new Family Hub in Bentilee are really important, not only to families in the city, but in combatting longer-term financial difficulties in Stoke-on-Trent.
“If you find a problem, it’s always best to sort it early. Don’t wait for it to get worse. We want our priority to be helping families because children thrive best in their own homes where they are safe.”
Simon French, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Principal of Alpha Academies Trust, said: “Alpha Academies Trust are very excited to be part of the collaborative approach to the Bentilee Family Hub. It is a great opportunity to positively impact on the lives of the families within our community.
“The aim of the Family Hub is a co-ordinated approach between professionals and families that is both supportive and empowering. Families will be enabled to improve their own health, education and life chances with a range of activities, and opportunities offered through a core, outreach and digital service provision that has long-term sustainability.”