Covid19 Edition 3

Families First News

Local area news

North Herts and Stevenage Bulletin

Updated May 2020

We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

For countywide updates, please also visit our Partner Updates page.


Local school partnership update

Stevenage local school partnership have continued to support families and schools through out the lockdown. We have provided support at child in need and Child protection virtual meetings, we have continued to attend team around the family meetings virtually and complete FFA's where needed. We have also delivered many food parcels to families in hardship supported by Sainsburys and have continued to ring and support families and school staff during this time. It is of course a very uncertain time and we have been there as a source of information and support to both families and partners going forward we are conscious that there are many families that are suffering during this time and that mental health will be very much at the forefront as a consequence.


The Living Room

Its business as usual for us at The Living Room – the only change is that the group sessions are held via ZOOM and not in person.  Group numbers are steady and for those that cannot join via the internet, we are providing telephone support, often on a daily basis.  We plan to continue with this arrangement until advised that contact restrictions are eased.

We are holding between six and nine group counselling sessions daily, facilitated by counsellors from each of our three staff teams that were originally based in Stevenage, St Albans and Watford.

While we did have to close our doors for a few weeks to new clients, our triage service is fully up and running to welcome all new clients into our service.  Please call 0300 365 0304 or complete the referral form; https://www.livingroomherts.org/referral  A dedicated triage counsellor will contact the individual and complete the initial assessment, via telephone or ZOOM.  If the client meets our criteria, they are then handed over to a key worker, who has experience and specialism in the identified addiction.  There is an expectation that all new clients will join established group counselling sessions via ZOOM.

As we are aware that some clients are experiencing increased stress on their relationships during this time, from June all of our clients will have an opportunity to join RELATE facilitated relationship sessions or 1 to 1 counselling, in addition to the daily group sessions.  Please note this opportunity is only open to clients that are attending The Living Room.

Our crèche – usually only available to Stevenage clients, has opened their vital doors to support all clients with children aged up to 12 years old.  The staff facilitated two sessions on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a variety of activities including craft ideas, cooking, yoga, action signing to name but a few.  This service is also provided during school holidays.

We provide regular email communications to clients and supporters via our SHOUT OUT and we put our updates on social media @LivingRoomHerts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and our website www.livingroomherts.org.  Please sign up to received your updates via our website.

During the first week of June we will be celebrating Volunteers Week by running a media campaign, publishing short video clips from staff, expressing the positive impact volunteers achieve during their time with us.

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