We’re delighted to announce exciting developments on the Integrated Family Centres Hub pilot, a six-month pilot project that A Better Start Southend is working on in partnership with Family Action and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, with the project nearing its launch date.

The project brings together Partners to support developments in the effective delivery of the children’s centres in Southend, building on the excellent work being undertaken at present.

Back in March we held two workshops with stakeholders delivering the services and parents as part of the initial research phase, collecting information around some key questions, such as: What are the Children’s Centres for? What role can the community play? How can we better bring together the services the community wants? And how can we best share information?

The responses we received from the workshops were collated and shared with partners and used to inform the new pilot project. This has helped us better understand the vital role Children’s Centres play in the community, and how we can build on the already fantastic work currently happening in order to integrate the services the community needs. Key in helping to shape the project are parents, families and ABSS Parent Champion volunteers.

The project, which may involve a new name and branding for the centres involved, will initially be introduced at Friars Children’s Centre and Centre Place Family Centre for six months from autumn 2019, and Partners will be supporting the project collaboratively in order to effectively develop best practice and integrate all services a family may need to access.

On top of this, the project will increase knowledge and provide training to partners around what is available locally to support families as well as increase the reach and use of a wide range of services.

Keep an eye out for developments on this new pilot project, and an exciting new launch date! If you have any questions related to the pilot project, please contact abetterstart@eyalliance.org.uk / 01702 880370.


A Better Start Southend, along with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Family Action, have been working together with a range of Partners to develop two pilot projects based at Friars and Centre Place Children’s Centres, exploring ways of enhancing the offer available to local children and families. The Partners are delighted that this work will now be brought into the mainstream service to be delivered by Family Action across the Borough’s Children’s Centres. A Better Start Southend will continue to support Family Action and others in developing new approaches to working with Southend’s very youngest children. All enquiries regarding becoming involved with Children’s Centres should be directed to Family Action at sally.manzoni@family-action.org.uk” 

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