Chelmsford Family Hub makeover praised by families

Children and their families are making use of the new state-of-the-art facilities at Chelmsford Library’s Family Hub following its recent refurbishment by Essex County Council – meaning vital family support services are all provided under one roof.

The Council revamp was made possible by a £145,586 grant from the Arts Council, plus a further £171,000 from Chelmsford City Council’s Chelmsford Infrastructure Levy Fund.

Chelmsford LibraryFeedback on Facebook has already been positive with parents saying how fantastic the new makeover looks. One parent said: “This looks absolutely fantastic, we can’t wait to come down and see it.”

In its first two days of opening in March, more than 80 families received support delivered by the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, with help from library staff.

The space now provides an improved Family Hub for library staff, health and social care workers from the Healthy Family Team from the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service and volunteers from other support agencies to work together to ensure children and families have access to a full range of services that support children’s learning, health, wellbeing and social development.

A variety of activities and support from the Healthy Family Team include the award-winning Rhyme Time sessions, friendship and toddler groups, play and learn sessions, sensory play, breastfeeding support drop-ins, health advice, and other children’s literacy and learning services.

In April, a new timetable of activities will be released, which can be accessed on a new dedicated website for services across Essex. Families can visit http://essexfamilywellbeing.co.uk/ for more information.

The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, provided by Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo’s, introduces a ‘service without walls’ by ensuring families have free and easy access to local health services in the community; whether in a local clinic, family hub or in their own home. 

Richard Comerford, Managing Director of Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, said: “We’re thankful for the new and improved facilities that’s helped create a wonderful new environment for the Chelmsford Central Family Hub. It’ll help us make the services for families and children even better as we work alongside our partners – library staff, the council and volunteers from other support agencies – to offer the right support, that people will value receiving in one place.”

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