Local mum from Milton ward, Hope* referred herself onto the HENRY Healthy Families Programme after seeing a leaflet in a children’s centre whilst attending the child health clinic. She lives with her partner of eight years, Jim* and their eight month old baby Charlie* and was interested in the HENRY programme as she felt that she needed to improve her parenting skills and knowledge around healthy eating and portion sizes.

When attending the group, Hope said she found it a really welcoming experience, and the crèche was extremely helpful in enabling her to join the programme. She had never left Charlie with others before, but she said “the crèche staff were outstanding as they catered for every child’s needs, remembering when each child needed feeding and changing. I struggle with just my child. They even gave me a booklet at the end of the programme all about what Charlie had done during his time in the crèche. I loved it.”

During the programme Hope found the subjects covered most beneficial, included week seven, where feelings and behaviours were discussed. “We learnt about understanding feelings and emotions and that there is an emotion behind a behaviour. The facilitators explained things so clearly that made it so easy to understand. I learnt so much that day. I have had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the past to help with depression and mental health, but I learnt more in that session than I did within the whole year of CBT. I also loved the stepping stones between each session. These made me go home and think about what changes I would like to try and make for myself and my family. Understanding that behaviour has an emotion behind it has really helped my mental health and I feel it is helping me be a better parent as I am not as stressed when Charlie isn’t happy.”

Following the completion of the course, Hope and Jim now use meal time as family time, by making simple changes like turning the TV off when eating together. They also feel more confident to start introducing solid food into Charlie’s diet, by offering new tastes and textures to explore.

Hope has said of the course: “I love the family time that we spend together now. Jim and I have sat down and gone through our HENRY book and handouts so we are both doing the same things. We now love reading books to Charlie and playing ball games with him, which has brought us all closer together. Reading and going through the book has allowed us to have positive conversations about how we want to raise our son, now we have more knowledge about parenting styles and we have decided to do things differently from what our parents did.”

Attending the HENRY programme has allowed Hope to gain new knowledge and understanding around feelings and behaviours, as well as build her confidence in offering Charlie a wider range of new foods.


*all names have been changed


Dates for the first 2020 HENRY programmes have now been added, take a look below for the details:

Mondays: 27 January – 23 March, 9.30am-12noon, Summercourt Children’s Centre
Tuesdays: 28 January – 24 March, 12.30pm-3pm, Cambridge Road Children’s Centre
Wednesdays: 29 January-25 March, 12.30pm-3pm, Friars Children’s Centre
Thursdays: 30 January-26 March, 9.30am-12noon, Centre Place Family Centre

To book your place contact: Patrizia.pessenda-garcia@henry.org.uk / 07519109875 or megan.stannett@henry.org.uk / 07851 251519

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