Programme supports families to give children best start in life
Parents and carers of children aged from birth to five in Wolverhampton are taking part in a unique programme which supports families to adopt healthier lifestyles and behaviours.
HENRY – Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young – adopts a unique and highly effective way of working with parents so that they are able to provide the best possible start in life for their babies and children.
The programme covers a wide range of subjects, from practical parenting skills, improving self-esteem and emotional wellbeing, and adopting healthier behaviours to goal setting, physical activity and active play, oral health and healthy eating. It is delivered in a series of two-hourly sessions across eight weeks.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: “What happens in childhood has lifelong effects on our health and wellbeing and, as a council, one of our key priorities is to give our children and young people the best possible start in life.
“The HENRY programme supports families to do just this, and so we are delighted to be offering it to young families through three of our Family Hubs and via Bilston Library.
“The important thing about the HENRY programme is that it never tells families what to do. Instead, it supports parents to identify the things they are doing well and the things they would like to change, helping them build on strengths and decide on their own strategies to achieve their goals.”
Staff from the Family Hubs and Health Visiting service have been trained in the HENRY approach and are working in pairs to deliver the programme. Each location will offer at least three programmes to up to 10 families over the next 18 months.
Evidence suggests that 97% of families who join a HENRY family programme are leading a healthier lifestyle by the programme's end. Independent academic evaluation has shown that families make long term lifestyle changes, and parents themselves often describe the support as ‘life-changing’.
For more information about your local HENRY programme please contact Julie Baker, HENRY Co-ordinator, on 01902 441057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the HENRY programme session at Low Hill Family Hub are, back, left to right, Leanne Whild, Family Learning Support Worker; Khadijat Okanlawon, parent; Leanne Cottam, Parent; Letisha Russell, parent and Beth Anne Rides, parent; and front, left to right, Kelly Murror, Family Learning Support Worker; Samantha Gilliver, parent; Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, and Elishia Miller, parent.