Families in Norfolk will benefit from a new practical service launched by Norfolk County Council and Home-Start Norfolk.

The County Council has awarded a one-year contract, starting in April 2024, to deliver a new volunteer peer support service to Home-Start Norfolk, as part of its innovative family hub programme.

The service will be accessible for families in Norfolk who are expecting a baby, or have a child up to the age of two-years-old, who require practical support to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to give their children the best start in life.

Many families need a little extra support during pregnancy and in the early years of their child’s development, including practical support such as with understanding which crib or cot to purchase within their budget. Peer support volunteers can help families feel less isolated and to develop networks in their local communities.

Home-Start Norfolk will recruit, train and support volunteers to connect and build relationships with individual families in the comfort of their own homes or local community venues.

The service will also include community-based groups and activities, supporting individuals to access wider social activities within their local area and accessing guided self-help resources. This will help to empower parents to have the capacity and confidence to ensure their child’s needs are met, including help to discover and navigate their local community, access professional support and support identified needs.

The offer of peer support is being delivered as part of Norfolk’s Start for Life and Family Hub approach, funded through the national Government Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme.

The approach  supports Norfolk’s vision for every child and young person to flourish by strengthening the prevention and early help offer for families with children up to age of 19, or 25 if they have special educational needs and disabilities.

(Source: Norfolk County Council)