Washington family hub open!
Families in Washington are encouraged to visit a new Family Hub.
The Rainbow Family Hub in Washington was officially opened (Tuesday 23 May) by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Dorothy Trueman during a celebratory family fun day for parents, grandparents, carers, babies and children.
It provides services to families across Washington by offering advice and support all the way from conception to age 5. Services are also available for young people aged up to 18 or 25.
The Rainbow Hub is the second of Sunderland's new hubs to open following the opening of the Coalfield Family Hub in Hetton earlier this month. A further three will be opened in coming months as part of the Government's £75million Family Hub and Start for Life scheme.
Councillor Trueman said: "Each Family Hub will be a one stop shop for families in Sunderland offering practical help and support with everything from infant feeding to mental health, relationship building, parenting classes, support groups and learning through play.
"We want every single child to realise their potential, and the support and advice provided through the Family Hubs at all stages and for all family members is warmly welcomed by us all."
The new Family Hubs have dozens of advice and support opportunities such as parenting classes or play groups, to providing wellbeing or parental health advice from smoking cessation to help and links on education, training or returning to work.
The council's Cabinet Member for children and young people, Councillor Linda Williams said: "Family Hubs have come at an ideal time for families as so many are negatively affected by the increased cost of living. The hubs are an essential part of our communities and bring together partners and professionals from different areas who will work together to best support families, children and young people."
Hubs fit with the national vision and aims of ensuring all families can access the support they need, the NHS supported Start for Life programme, and locally the on-going City Plan for a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland.
Together for Children (TfC) delivers children's and young people services in partnership with the City Council.
TfC's chief officer Jill Colbert OBE said: "It's wonderful to see our second Family Hub officially opened and all five of our Hubs will play a pivotal role in our city's support and advice network for families.
"The new hubs give families greater opportunity to access support, advice and help in a way that works for them. I would encourage people to pop in to any of our sites to see our team, find out what health, parenting and play sessions are available to them and make the most of the free support that is available to families. Our Family Hubs really are about creating community-focused space that help with all elements of family life."
Sunderland has a £3m grant to deliver hubs over three years - Coalfield Family Hub in Hetton and the Rainbow Family Hub in Washington have opened their doors - while two further sites will open in the coming weeks in Bunnyhill in Hylton Castle and Thorney Close, and a new facility in Hendon will open later in the year.
The hubs are a major expansion and update of existing family centres and the five are aligned with the Coalfield, East (and south), North, Washington and West areas of the city.