Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service invited to 10 Downing Street

The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, which is provided by Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo’s, was delighted that one of its leaders was given the rare privilege to attend Number 10 Downing Street to share experiences in delivering our exciting and innovative Family Hub model for supporting local children and families.

The roundtable discussion held by Nero Ughwujabo, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Chaired by David Burrowes was attended by representatives from parliament including Lord Michael Farmer and Dr Samantha Callan along with Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield and Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan. It was an opportunity to share good practice and begin composing recommendations for service development country-wide.

Lisa Farrell, Deputy Quadrant Manager for Mid Essex (pictured), was invited to attend to represent the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing service, with a particular focus on the Chelmsford Family Hub, which is considered as an exemplar site in Essex.

Lisa said: “The unique redesign and integration of the Chelmsford Family Hub  with the city library provides pregnant women, children and families with a wonderfully wide-ranging combination of education and support opportunities. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we have done in Essex and to highlight  how our strength-based, whole system approach to people’s care needs means that the right type of support is given at the right time in the right place, whether this be in the Family Hub, at home or elsewhere in the community.

“I shared the benefits from there being a single point of contact for families and the concept of a ‘service without walls’. New partnerships in the Chelmsford Family Hub has resulted in a unique opportunity where library employees, Healthy Family  Team members (Health visitors and Support Workers), community groups and volunteers come together to deliver a range of services.

‘We recognise how important it is for communities, families, children and young people we serve to help shape the support offered. A main aim of our service is to build on community capacity to support themselves and build resilience whilst focusing on positive outcomes and impact.

“Lord Farmer along with Council officials and dignitaries attended the grand opening of new development within Chelmsford Family Hub and library on 27 March 2018 and it was because of this experience that he invited me onto the roundtable event at Number 10.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved in Essex, the innovative and co- production of commissioning from Essex and look forward to taking part in future opportunities to feed into government policies about family hubs.”