Families First News

Difference we're making

Evidencing the Impact of Early Help

FOR DOWNLOAD: FF logo colourAnalysis carried out in 2019 has suggested that:

• That Investment in Early help services continues to provide substantial cost avoidance for the public sector

• The smallest change to funding for Early Help services will have a significant impact on local authority spend associated with an increased social care demand.

What we did

54 cases were randomly selected to be audited, The criteria being that the families had to have been post intervention by at least 18 months. Out of the 54 cases only 27 contained enough data to enable a robust analysis. All the evidence within this report is based on these 27 cases.

View the full report

National Citizens Service news


This summer 650 young people from St Albans, Dacorum and Hertsmere are taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme with YC Hertfordshire.

Each young person will attend a four-week programme which will include two residential weeks and the planning and delivery of a Social Action Project.  Young people have the opportunity to learn about team work, social interaction, build resilience, learn new skills and prepare them for the transition into adulthood.

The NCS programme begins with a week’s residential to Staffordshire where young people have the opportunity to participate in a programme  including raft building, climbing, caving, high ropes and a 10km expedition while living in a tent for the week.

Henry (15) said: “The rafting was the best, we all worked together and leant how to tie reef knots.

The second week is a residential at the University of Hertfordshire where the young people are able to experience life as a student on a university campus. A varied programme includes an employability day which consists of attending a variety of workshops with employers to learn about employability skills, mental health and sexual health workshops, deaf awareness and first aid training. Team building activities are organised for the evenings.

The final two weeks of the programme are where young people undertake a social action project in their local community. They are responsible for identifying local worthwhile community causes and then planning and carrying out improvements. These have included work at a donkey sanctuary, running a bake sale in the town centre to raise money for a mental health charity, adapting and recording a song which represents aspects of mental health, creating an ECO garden for a local primary school, litter picking, helping at a retirement home as well as supporting at a fun day for low income families.

Feedback from the young people has been positive:

I haven’t spoken to many people before, I have made new friends.” Holly (16)

 “The Youth Worker are great, I can relate to them and just chat to them.” Asma (16)

For more information visit www.ychertfordshire.org

Fit Fed & Read Summer 2019

Throughout the summer holidays The Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) – based at the University of Hertfordshire – delivered a holiday activities programme with a difference, for children from disadvantaged families across the county.

The Partnership’s award-winning Fit, Fed and Read programme seeks to address the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation experienced by some of Hertfordshire’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, aged 7-12yrs.

The Hertfordshire take on the National Street Games Fit and Fed campaign was held at Fire stations across the 10 Districts and Boroughs and with the support of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire Libraries, Hertfordshire Constabulary, and Herts Catering Ltd – the principal supplier of school meals in the county – provided a programme of sport and activities, fun literacy and education sessions and a nutritious lunch as part of a programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The programme is offered free of charge to local youngsters that are eligible for free school meals and was attended by nearly 200 children with over 1600 attendances over the summer.

HSP Deputy Director, Jane Shewring said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer our Fit, Fed and Read programme across the county. Whilst for most of our young people, the summer holidays can be a time to enjoy life with family and friends, partake in overseas holidays and new experiences, for others it can be a rather miserable existence.

Too many of our young people are left vulnerable and isolated, when the support of their school is removed. Research shows that the intellectual, emotional and physical development of some of those young people can be thwarted as a result and holiday hunger – often linked to in-work poverty – is a real issue within some of our families

With the support of the National Lottery players and our key partner organisations, we can offer these programmes across Hertfordshire and with it some fantastic opportunities for local youngsters.”

Fit Fed & Read is funded to run each Easter and Summer holidays for the next three years with the Easter 2020 projects due to commence 6th April 2020. HSP urge any families, or family support services, that may be interested in finding out more to contact them at fitfedandread@herts.ac.uk or 01707 284229.

News from the Watford and Three River IFST summer fete

On 15th August Watford and Three Rivers IFST held a summer fete to raise money for Watford’s Peace Hospice.

We had great weather, lots of lovely donations and a lot of support from other services, which all added up to a lovely afternoon for the families. We had stalls, games, prizes, crafts, face painting, a BBQ and music and dancing!

We would like to thank MIND, Three Rivers Community Safety Team, ASCEND, South Oxhey Library, Watford and Three Rivers Family Centre and Health Visiting teams, Watford and Three Rivers assessment and locality teams, the DJ, Sainsburys, Homestart, Mothercare and the fire engine service for all their support.

We are really pleased to share that we have raised £600 for the Peace Hospice and we look forward to next years fete!

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