The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor Joe Pearson and wife Sylvia, joined children and their families and the Family Nurse Partnership team in St Helens last week to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Family Nurse Partnership in England with a Teddy Bear’s Picnic themed birthday party.
Hosted by the Family Nurse Partnership team at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the event was held at Central Link Children’s Centre and included entertainment from Jo Jingles, a prize draw to win a giant teddy bear, a picnic and children’s centre activities.
Kerrie France, Assistant Clinical Director, said: “I am so proud to be the Family Nurse Partnership lead for our Trust. Since 2014, we have delivered Family Nurse Partnership services locally in St Helens to over 100 families.
“It is inspiring to see the difference the programme has made to the lives of so many children and families in St Helens. The event was a great opportunity to celebrate together with the nurses and families past and present who have been on the programme. It was such a joy to witness the relationships that have developed between parents and babies and the confident children they have become with the help and support of their family nurse.”
The Family Nurse Partnership is a voluntary home visiting programme for first time young mums, aged 19 years or under. As part of the programme, a specially trained family nurse visits the young mum (and dad) to help them understand all about their pregnancy and how to care for themselves and their babies. They visit regularly during the pregnancy and then after the birth until the baby is two years old.
Research has shown many children whose mums and partners have taken part do better in school. Mums and their partners are also more likely to achieve what they want for themselves and their children. Families still have their midwife and doctor and any other professionals who may be involved, and the family nurse will support the family to give their baby the best possible start in life.
Feedback about the programme is very positive. One young mum said: “Without the Family Nurse Partnership, I wouldn’t be the mum I am today. Thank you so much for all you have done for my family.”
Councillor Gill Neal, St Helens Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “I would just like to thank the Family Nurse Partnership team for all the help and support they’ve given to young parents over the last few years. Health in pregnancy and the quality of care given to babies during the first years of life can have a long-lasting impact on a child’s future health, happiness, relationships and achievement of their aspirations.
“The programme supports young parents to achieve their aspirations too, helping them to identify their strengths and develop new skills to build a healthy, happy future for themselves and their families.”
For more information about the Family Nurse Partnership, call the team on 01744 624310 or visit www.nwbh.nhs.uk/family-nurse-partnership-st-helens