January 2021

Families First News

Local area news

East Herts & Broxbourne News Bulletin

January 2021

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.

DSPL4 Annual Conference - SEND and Mental Health

DSPL4 welcomes all parents, carers and professionals to join the 5th Annual Conference; SEND & Mental Health on 29th January 2021. This conference will be held virtually via Zoom and is FREE to attend.

Please review the conference pack for everything you need to know about the day, including how to book. Please also share information about this conference on social media, with other families and professionals.

Job Smart Employability Programme

Please help us promote the Job Smart employability programme that is being delivered by the CVS across Broxbourne and East Herts. Face-to-face group sessions are recommencing in Waltham Cross and Wormley whilst there is also online support and e-learning videos.

Please promote this programme by whatever means you have; noticeboards, social media, newsletters as well as one-on-one with families you know who are in need of this support.

Please review this flyer for further information. More publicity for this programme is being devised and flyers are being printed for pick up in community locations.

Temporary changes to local Jobcentre services

To help keep customers and colleagues as safe as possible in the latest phase of the pandemic, the Department has decided jobcentre opening hours will be 10am to 2pm beginning on Monday the 18th January 2021. This temporary change means we can continue providing safe, essential services for those who need to come into the Jobcentre and who are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally. The opening hours of our phone lines remain as they were. In addition, the Relay UK service and the Video relay service are both still available.

Anyone entering a Jobcentre will be required to wear a face covering, unless they are in an exempt category. Please remind your audiences to follow the latest government guidance on meeting with others safely and lockdown restrictions and that if we need to make an appointment with a customer, this will be by the phone. We will leave a message in their journal before we call them. If you have any questions, then please contact your local Jobcentre.

HABS Family Support Team - Hertfordshire Children Services Partner of the Year 2020

What a year for HABS (Hoddesdon and Broxbourne Settings)! We have secured an award that meant so much to the team. We have successfully created a new counselling provision alongside HABS called 'Strength in Mind CIC' which will continue to help our vulnerable Children, Adolescents in schools, and Adults in the local community with funded or affordable counselling to support with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. We welcomed 2 new members of staff to our team which will enable us to offer so much more over the next 2 years; even Covid-19 couldn't stop us getting out there, working face to face with our families.

The HABS team have also had another successful year with our Christmas appeal that supported families all over the Borough of Broxbourne. We are happy to say we were able to support over 240+ children with presents, supplied vouchers for food to over 60 families, and offered money towards gas and electricity for the festive season to over 50 families.

The feedback from parents has been fantastic with one local family saying

"I must admit I burst into tears when I opened everything, absolutely everything is so gratefully received. Between the cash for heating, food vouchers and the lovely gifts. I am struggling to find the words to express how grateful I am and how much every single item is appreciated. This has been a godsend not just to help us when we are struggling to get back on our feet, but also with the pandemic unable to get out. Please pass on our thanks to every person or group that contributed to the donations, and to everyone on the HABS team, who since the first contact has really been an invaluable source of support at our lowest times, you work tirelessly and are so important not just for us but for everyone you help. Thank you so very very much."

We would like to thank the local companies, the schools and staff that came together, and the local community for all their support. You have all touched the hearts of so many families this Christmas.

If any families in Hoddesdon, Turnford, Broxbourne, and Wormley need any support please call our consultation number on 01992 303 331 (opt 5). Also, check out our Facebook page and Instagram page for up to date information and support.

    YCH Services for Young People (Broxbourne, East Herts & Welwyn Hatfield)

    YCH Services for Young People (YCH SfYP), previously YC Hertfordshire are pleased to present their offer of youth work projects, services and support for young people.

    The best start to 2021

    YCH SfYP are offering a range of online youth work projects for young people (aged 13 to 17) to help them get the best start in 2021. Please click on the following links to review some flyers providing information on the opportunities available this term across Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield. Please also see some of the key projects below.

    Key Projects

    Emotional Wellbeing Project: This project is for young people experiencing low mood who would benefit from some support to improve their wellbeing by making simple lifestyle changes. Centred around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, this project offers a safe environment for young people to explore how they can make a difference to the way they feel. With the support of qualified youth workers and their peers, young people can take part in new activities and learn new skills to help them feel better about their future.

    • East Herts: Online via Microsoft Teams, Mondays 6-7pm
    • Broxbourne: Waltham Cross Young People’s Centre and online via Microsoft Teams, Thursdays 6-7pm
    • Welwyn Hatfield: Hatfield Young People’s Centre and online via Microsoft Teams, Tuesday 3:15-5:15pm

    Supporting You Project: This project introduces young people to a range of CBT techniques to overcome feelings of worry and anxiety. Delivered within a supportive group work setting, young people develop increased confidence and self-esteem and learn how to apply this to their everyday lives, as well as build resilience and take greater control of their circumstances.

    • East Herts: Online via Microsoft Teams, Wednesdays 6-7pm
    • Broxbourne: Waltham Cross Young People’s Centre and online via Microsoft Teams, Mondays 6-7pm
    • Welwyn Hatfield: Online via Microsoft Teams, Thursdays 6-7pm

    Keeping young people safe from online exploitation

    The YCH SfYP Healthy Relationships Project enables young people in East Herts to be more confident and happier in their relationships. In 2019, Ofcom found that 79% of 12-15-year olds had a potentially harmful experience online and with young people spending more time online throughout the pandemic, this project equips young people with the knowledge and skills to keep themselves safe. Through interactive and engaging activities, young people can:

    • Develop an understanding of consent within relationships
    • Learn how to stay safe online and understand the risks of sharing personal information and images
    • Learn how sexualised images can affect body image and confidence
    • Recognise and understand the impact of Child Sexual Exploitation and abuse
    • Know where and how to access support

    Online via Microsoft Teams, Wednesdays 6-7pm

    Supporting young people with finding education, employment or training

    YCH SfYP can support any young person under 19 who is looking for work, training or education. Although the usual challenges that young people face when considering their future opportunities have been impacted by COVID-19, we can support young people to their next destination with the help of our qualified Careers Guidance Practitioners and a thorough knowledge of employability support. However, the majority of schools also purchase a comprehensive package of professional Careers Advice and Guidance, Work Experience and Work-related Learning from YCH SfYP.

    In addition, the Pathways to Success programme is specifically designed to support young people in Year 11 who are NEET (not in employment, education or training), or are at risk of becoming so. Through individual tailored support and a range of interactive workshops young people can develop their CVs, hone their interview skills and enhance their employability.

    YCH SfYP Access Points

    Young people are welcome to make an appointment at any YCH SfYP Access Point throughout lockdown, which have all been risk assessed and had measures put in place to ensure they are Covid Secure: 

    • Bishop’s Stortford Access Point (Bishop’s Stortford Young People’s Centre, 14 Northgate End, Bishop's Stortford, CM23 2EU): Thursdays 2-5pm.
    • Cheshunt Access Point (Cheshunt Young People’s Centre, The Drill Hall, 178 Crossbrook Street, Cheshunt, EN8 8JY): Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 2-5pm.
    • Hatfield Access Point (Hatfield Young People’s Centre, Breaks Manor Youth Centre, Link Drive, Hatfield, AL10 8TP): Mondays and Wednesdays 2-5pm.
    • Welwyn Garden City Access Point (Welwyn Garden City Young People’s Centre, Block A, Oaklands College, The Campus, College Way, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AH): Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-5pm.

    Any young person aged 13-19 can attend Access Points (13-21 for care leavers or 13-24 for young people with learning disabilities), but during lockdown this is by appointment only. Access Points provide young people with individual support on a range of topics, including:

    • Finding a job and career planning
    • Accessing Sexual Health services, including free condoms, chlamydia and gonorrhoea screening, pregnancy tests and confidential advice
    • Support with substance misuse, including referrals for more specialist support
    • Managing finances and housing support
    • Developing independent living skills
    • Accessing YCH SfYP youth work projects and programmes

    How to refer a young person to YCH Services for Young People?

    You can use this link to refer a young person to a project or programme. Please help us circulate this information to colleagues who you think may find it useful.

    Update on service support from Citizens Advice East Herts

    Who and how are we helping?

    We continue to operate a remote advice service which has enabled us to help over 6,500 people (as of end December) since the first lockdown in March, up 31% on 2019.

    We are seeing demand for support increase, with issues becoming more complex. Benefits and Housing are the biggest areas of need and we are fundraising to be able to offer more specialist casework support in these areas.

    As an advice service our focus is on making sure clients are able to access all the support they need, including financial. As part of this we are able to issue food and fuel vouchers where needed and to help clients access some grants, including the new (time limited) Winter Grant.

    How can you can contact us?

    Partners and clients can contact us for advice and support in a number of ways:

    • Advice by email
    • Advice by phone: Call Message Line any time on 01920 459944 (local rate) and one of our advisers will call back as soon as they're able to (Mon-Thus). Or if you're happy to wait call Adviceline on freephone 0800 144 8848 (Mon-Fri)
    • Advice by Facebook Messenger
    • Webchat with us

    We have recently introduced a pilot online referral tool (Frontline - used in Harlow and Uttlesford) to streamline the referrals process between partners and simplify the process for clients.

    Useful resources

    We have a range of resources on our website which partner organisations and clients can make use of, including:

    • Online benefits calculator - to check eligibility for benefits. You can also see how changes in household budget can affect income.
    • Online self-help - for information on housing, benefits, finances, relationships, consumer rights etc.
    • Bite Size Video advice - for short guides to topics such as budgeting, redundancy and scams.

    We can also help people apply for Universal Credit via our Help to Claim service.

    What's coming up?

    In the next few weeks, we will be launching video advice appointments (please see our website for latest details). We are also keen to work with partners to pilot freephones in various locations, making our service accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to contact us.

    Please get in touch if you any questions and please follow us on social media for the latest updates.


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