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Sheffield families to benefit from £5m funding in rollout of Family Hubs

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View of Sheffield from Manor Castle

Families in Sheffield are amongst thousands across England that will be offered help and support with issues such as infant feeding, mental health and relationship building thanks to Family Hubs being rolled out in local communities.

Sheffield is one of seventy-five areas that will benefit from the £300 million investment up to 2025, with £5m being awarded to the city.

The new hubs will offer support from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs and disabilities. Strong, supportive families make for more stable communities and happier individuals.

The council’s Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee has worked hard to secure the funding to ensure local people have the best chance of living happy family lives and can access the most relevant support when they need it.

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee, collectively with Deputy Chair, Councillor Paul Wood and Group Spokesperson, Councillor Marieanne Elliot, said:

“We are thrilled that Sheffield has been selected as part of this programme and as a trailblazer authority to support the wider rollout.

“Our families face so many hurdles now, and this is a huge challenge for local authorities, particularly with the cost-of-living crisis that is affecting so many households so significantly.

“This funding will support us to provide the right help at the right time, allowing our families and young people to thrive, by giving them the best possible start and having support embedded throughout our communities for each stage of family life.

“This means joined up support services across health & wellbeing, money matters, employment & education, and leisure so that families are fulfilled in each of these areas, because just one small issue can create a huge impact on everything else.

“We look forward to rolling out the Family Hubs and Start Life Programme across our communities, seeing families in Sheffield flourish and leading the way in supporting this initiative nationally.”

Investing in families and making sure they get the support they need from birth through to adulthood helps with children’s educational attainment, wellbeing and life chances, while also improving wider outcomes such as poor mental health and unemployment.

Previously these services could be disjointed and hard to navigate but family hubs will act as a ‘one stop shop’ to offer guidance and advice on a range of circumstances including, infant feeding, mental health support, health visits and parenting classes.

Hubs will also bring together wider wraparound services that can make a huge difference to people who need extra support – such as advice on getting into work, relationship building and stop smoking services.

Greg Fell, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, and Director of Public Health for Sheffield, said:

“We are pleased to see the Government is acting on their ambition to put families at the heart of communities with the Family Hub initiative. 

“It is well evidenced that prevention and intervention in the very early stages of life is needed to support children and young people to lead healthy and fulfilling lives and prevent ill health in future. This then supports communities to not just grow but also to thrive and embed good health at all levels in our society.

 “However, it is important that funding for these measures remains consistent and sustained over the coming years so that the benefits of having this support in place can be felt now and long into the future.   

“While the extra funding is appreciated, it must be matched by an increase to the public health grant so that DsPH across England can continue to deliver services to children, young people and their families who won’t yet benefit from the new Family Hubs.” 

To fast-track delivery of these services, 14 local authority areas will become trailblazers and receive extra funding. Sheffield as one of the trailblazers will lead the way and support other local authorities to improve services that are offered to families, so that these can be rolled out more widely across the country.

Today's announcement builds on the Prime Minister’s ambition to put families at the centre of communities and delivers on the 2019 manifesto commitment to champion Family Hubs.

Children, Families and Wellbeing Minister, Claire Coutinho said:

“Having children can be really tough as well as bringing so much joy. All families, from time to time, will need a helping hand.

“Family hubs bring services together helping parents, carers, children and young people to access the support they need more easily.

“Parenting advice ranges from support with feeding and mental health to guidance on how to give children a head start on their learning.”

More information will be shared about the rollout of Family Hubs in Sheffield once this progresses.

Read more about the Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme.