Community Workers strengthen Cornwall's Family Hubs

Services for children and families in Cornwall are being improved, with the appointment of six Community Development Workers, in a new initiative to change the way families are supported. The new team, created in partnership between Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall, are based in the Family Hubs, which are located across Cornwall in the former district areas of Penwith, Kerrier, Carrick, Restormel, Carradon and North Cornwall.

The Community Development Workers have been appointed following on from the success of a partnership between Volunteer Cornwall and the Early Help Hub; a one stop shop for parents and carers in Cornwall to get information, advice and guidance about the support available across Cornwall. The aim of the workers is to identify and signpost families in Cornwall to community groups, however big or small, and activities that can support or enhance their lives.

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Volunteer Cornwall’s Project Manager, Heidi Channell, said: “The six Community Development Workers and their manager Becky Higgins, are already proving to be an invaluable asset to the families and communities of Cornwall. They bring with them a wealth of experience from previous roles in schools, housing, community development and the Council’s own Early Help Service. They are united by one common goal of helping people in their communities to thrive.”

Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Across Cornwall there is a wealth of community organisations and support groups that can enrich people’s lives, but not everyone knows they exist.  The workers identify the organisations and groups, however big or small, who can support or enhance the lives of children and families in Cornwall. This information is promoted in local areas and to front line staff working with families to ensure they are aware of their existence and how people can access them.”

In addition the Community Development Workers are engaging with local people to understand what they feel is missing in their communities and how additional support and activities can be created within those communities. In partnership with local people and organisations they will offer support them to find solutions to establish accessible and sustainable support suitable for the people and their community.

Sally continued: “We want local people to shape the services they need or want to see in the places where they live. It has become apparent that many people across Cornwall are not aware of and are not accessing the excellent support available within their own communities.  We want to help and support them to do so.”

The Community Development Workers work closely with Early Help Teams, who work out of the new Family Hubs.  These new Family Hubs have been created following the integration of children’s services with health visitors and school nurses into a new service called Together for Families.

For more information on Together for Families and the Family Hubs, please go to www.cornwall.gov.uk/togetherforfamilies.