Since launching in June 2023, South Tyneside Family Hubs has transformed the way services for families are delivered across South Tyneside.

In the last year, thousands of families have accessed our Hubs taking advantage of better integrated services from conception up to the age of 19 or 25 for those with additional needs.

The Hubs provide access to a broad range of universal, targeted and specialist services offering high quality information, advice, and support, enabling families to access the right support at the right time. The support on offer includes parenting support, early language and home learning, parent-child relationships, and infant feeding support.

The network of 12 Hubs has seen over 50,000 visits from 8,500 children, young people, parents, and carers.

Louise Taylor, 33, from Jarrow, is just one of the 5,224 parents and carers who has accessed the Hubs since its inception last year. Reflecting on her struggles and how much of an impact the Hubs has had on her life, Louise said: “I didn’t know many people when I moved to the area, and I felt isolated.

“I really struggled with anxiety, but when I started attending Bede Family Hub, I instantly felt welcomed. It’s given me a sense of belonging.

“I’m now a lot more confident and the Family Hub has given me a place to socialise and make new friends.”

Parenthood brings all sorts of challenges but by proving a ‘one-stop-shop’ and offering the right support at the right time, families need only tell their story once and help can be provided at the earliest opportunity.

Louise revealed she isn’t the only member of the family who has felt the benefits since attending the Family Hubs. She added: “I’ve grown so much as a parent and that means that my kids are growing too.

“I’ve attended the ‘HENRY’ programme and that gave me the skills to help us live a healthier and happier lifestyle. I’m able to manage my child’s behaviour better which makes home life so much more manageable and means my children have a really happy and supportive home environment.

“I go to the playgroup every Monday and try to attend individual sessions too. During the holidays I’m able to take my older child and he sees the Family Hub as a safe and welcoming space.

“I’d encourage any parent or carer to give it a try and see for themselves what is on offer.”

Natalie Padget, Early Years Practitioner, has witnessed Louise’s journey firsthand and admits she couldn’t be prouder of the progress she has made. “I’m so happy for Louise and I’m so proud of her.

“Her confidence has grown so much since attending the Hubs. She’s now in a position where she is supporting other parents with information and advice and to see her own children thriving is fantastic. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with her.”

Hear Louise’s story below: