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Shape plans for new family hubs

30th September 2022
Hackney Council is asking residents to help develop plans that will bring together support for families, children and young people in a new, more joined-up way. New ‘Children and Family Hubs’ will offer help and support to families from conception up until age 19 (or 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities- SEND).The Hubs will see professionals and services from right across the Council - as well as from the health, community and the voluntary sectors - working together to provide high-quality, cohesive support for families.Hubs are set to act as a single ‘front door’, making it easier for families to get the help they need at the right time. Services for the very youngest children will be a focus in the Hubs. The Council is now asking local people who use our services currently or who may use our services in the future to tell us what their needs are, and how the services and facilities we will be proposing - which are based on local needs - will work best for them. The Council is seeking to work with the following groups:Parents/carers and families of young children aged 0-5Parents/carers and families with children eligible for free early years entitlementParents/carers and families of school children aged 6-11Parents/carers and families of school children aged 12-16Parents/carers and families of older children aged 17-19Parents/carers and families of children and young people with SEND of all agesFathersSingle parentsWorking parentsIf you would like to be involved in developing these plans, you can register your interest:Go to: We will also be reaching out directly to a range of different parent, carer and family groups.  Frequently Asked Questions What is a Children and Family Hub? Children and Family Hubs are one-stop-shops where families can access important services.Hubs deliver these services from conception, through a child’s early years and until they reach the age of 19 (or 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities).An effective Children and Family Hub acts as a single ‘front door’, making it easier for families to get the help they need at the right time. This can include parenting support and infant feeding advice.Children and Family Hubs are for families with children of all ages, but with a great Start for Life (the critical 1,001 days from conception to age two) services at their core. This includes mental health advice for new mums in the weeks immediately before and after birth and support for parents to build strong relationships with their babies.It is likely, a number of Children's Centres in the borough will be transformed into Children and Family Hubs, with expanded and extended services.Some support will be provided at the Hubs themselves, as well as in other Children’s Centres, in Youth Hubs, in virtual spaces, or via home-visits to families. The Hubs are the entry point through which families can easily access all the services on offer. We want to make sure every family knows what and where their local Children and Family Hub is, and knows that, if they walk through the front door, they’ll be welcomed by staff that are empowered to support their needs, and connect them with services that will be able to support their needs. More info on the Children and Family Hub model. What are we doing? How can I get involved? We are now asking local people who use our services currently or who may use our services in the future to tell us what their needs are, and how the services and facilities we are proposing - which are based on local needs - will work best for them. We will also be reaching out to families who we think might benefit most.Formal consultation would be carried out at a later stage before making any significant changes to Children's Centres. How does the Hubs model differ from what we already offer? Hackney Council aspires to give all children the best start in life. We also want to continue to focus on supporting families who need extra help to overcome challenges they may face.  Children and Family Hubs will ensure we can better provide this support from conception throughout the early, primary and secondary years, and into early adulthood.Currently, the support services provided by the Council - and its partners in health, settings, the community and voluntary sectors - are offered by services who don’t work as closely together as we think they should.  Instead, Children and Family Hubs will ensure the support we give is joined up, and children and families are better able to access the right help, at the right time.Where will these Children and Family Hubs be based? Our intention is to expand the use of some existing Children’s Centres - where services and professionals, such as midwives, social workers and therapists, work together to support children and their families - to become Children and Family Hubs in which a wider range of services and support for the whole family will be offered. However, we may also transform other buildings owned by the Council. The support offered in the Hubs may be provided at the Hubs themselves, in other Children’s Centres, in Youth Hubs, in virtual spaces, via home-visits to families, or in facilities operated by the community sector.How would a mixed age-group work? Children and Family Hubs will provide coordinated support for families who have children up to age 19 (or 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities) with many services actually delivered across the neighbourhood in other locations - such as a Youth Hub. As with Children’s Centres, universal services for the youngest children, such as stay and play opportunities, home learning, infant feeding and antenatal support, will remain a focus in the Hubs.Some Children’s Centre provision already successfully provides services for older children, such as the holiday playscheme, family support and youth counselling services. However, as part of our conversations with parents and carers, we will seek to understand how to coordinate support for all ages through the Hubs.  Are there proposed locations for the hubs? How are they being decided?We are looking at sites based on key information and data including: population size and needs of local communities; neighbourhood mapping; and site suitability.Will there be a formal consultation? When we have finished our research and engagement with residents and other interested parties - and have plans to share - we will go out to public consultation for everyone to have their say. This is likely to be in spring 2023. TimelineOngoing: Staff and partner engagement Sept-Dec 2022: Parents, carers and providers invited to shape plans for the Children and Family Hubs From March into early 2023: Pilot some new ways of working for selected services (informed by Government funding) Spring 2023: Formal consultation 2023-2024: Broadening of Children’s Centres into Children and Family Hubs, dependent on consultation.Children’s Centres and childcare Children’s Centres review Last year, we proposed the closure of two Children's Centres in order to make large-scale savings following the severe impact of the pandemic, and sustained Government cuts on the Council’s finances. We paused that process, following parent and carer concern, while we undertook a review of our proposals. Now - and instead - we are working on interconnected pieces of work that look at or impact the future of some Children's Centres and what services - such as childcare - they offer in the borough. We don’t know what those changes will be yet, because we are talking with parents and carers as part of our engagement work. It is possible this could result in proposals to close, change or relocate existing centres and services, including childcare, in a small number of Children’s Centres. These proposals will also aim to ensure that we are making the very best use of the buildings, staff and resources we have while managing a limited and much-reduced budget.Work that is under way that may impact some Children’s Centres: Children and Families Hubs. This will likely see a number of our Children's Centres that already offer a range of services and access to professionals such as midwives, social workers and therapists based at the centre, developed into Children and Family Hubs that offer support to the whole family - from conception, throughout the early years, primary and secondary and into early adulthood. However, some services, such as childcare, may no longer be offered. Developing special education and disability (SEND) provision for young children. We are looking at creating Hubs in the north and south of the borough to support children with complex needs.This may see one or more of our Children's Centres transformed into these hubs.Affordable Childcare Commission . The Council is setting up an independent Affordable Childcare Commission. This is a group who will map provision and access in the borough in order to support the growth of more public and private affordable childcare options. While this is separate to the Children and Family Hub proposals, the work of the Commission will likely inform proposals for childcare across a range of sectors in the borough. We will let you know how you can get involved in the work being done by the Commission by the end of October. Formal consultation will take place next year with residents before significant changes to Children’s Centres take place. FundingThe Children and Families Hubs development will be funded by the Government, supported by Council funding. Hackney is one of 75 local authorities which will receive a share of a dedicated Government grant to develop new Children and Family Hubs in their area, as well as a new Start for Life Programme, with a key focus on parent-infant relationships and perinatal support relationships, infant feeding and parenting support.More info on the Government family hubs funding. FamiliesWe recognise and appreciate family diversity. And includes: ChildrenParents or carers including legal parents or carers, foster parents, step-parents, others operating in the caretaker role for a child or dependentYoung carersSpouses or domestic partners, regardless of genderPregnant people, or those in their pregnancy journey. This is inclusive of religion or faith, ethnicity, disability or special educational need, gender and sexuality.  If you have any further questions or comments, you can contact us at:  

Hackney’s Black History Season showcases the stories of influential and inspirational people from Black communities

30th September 2022
This year’s Black History Season, which celebrates Black culture and achievement in Hackney, is themed ‘Stories Untold’ and will showcase the stories and journeys of influential and inspirational people that have left their mark on the borough.The theme was developed by Hackney Council’s Children and Education services, who, after hosting the groundbreaking Anti-Racist Praxis Conference in May 2022 and inspired by the ‘Warm Shores’ sculptures outside of Hackney Town Hall, wanted to center the often silenced, intergenerational stories and voices of Black and Global Majority people. By celebrating these stories untold, we hope they can continue to unmask, repair and prevent the hidden wounds of racial trauma on Black and the Global Majority children and families in Hackney. Over the next two months, Hackney Libraries, Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives, Children and Education services and Young Hackney will host an exciting, interactive and thought-provoking collection of in-person events, exhibitions and forums celebrating Black history and acknowledging the significant contributions of Black and Global Majority communities in Hackney.Hackney Black History Season begins with the raising of Hackney’s unique Black History flag, designed by local resident Malaika Parillon Langlais Baron in 2018 through a schools competition. The flag will fly above Hackney Town Hall throughout October to mark the borough’s pride in acknowledging its Black history.Other highlights of the season include:An exhibition at Hackney Museum about African heritage influencers in Hackney - exploring how African heritage individuals have shaped Hackney to be the borough it is today. A trail of globe sculptures across Hackney designed by artists from Hackney and throughout the UK, to bring together people, families and communities to talk about how we understand Black History.An intergenerational exhibition of stories about life in Hackney from Black and Global Majority students, residents and staff - presented through writing, art, music, poetry at The Tomlinson Centre.An in-person event with Jay Blades, sharing lived experiences with a Hackney youth panel at Hackney Archives.For further updates and information, visit and Notes for editors: Visit the online PDF flyer for the full Hackney Black History Season programme via Full programme of events is also available via, and on the Hackney Black History Facebook pageFor updates or to contribute to the conversations visit the #HackneyBlackHistory tag on all social media platforms Hackney’s Black History Season complements the Council’s extensive and year-round work concerning Windrush and this year’s announcement of the Black Lives Matter motion and review into public spaces. If you are hosting a Black History event and would like to promote it via Hackney’s Black History Season channels, please submit your details here.
New ground-breaking scheme launched to ensure Hackney’s nightlife venues are safe
Women and girls’ safety, hate crime and pickpocketing are just some of the areas nightlife venues in Hackney will have exclusive, free training in as part of a one-of-a-kind project launched by Hackney Council.The new Hackney Nights Accreditation Scheme gives licensed venues across the borough access to free safety training and guidance which focuses on crime prevention, increasing sustainability, health and wellbeing and promoting inclusivity. Training and policy work on the scheme will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to create safer spaces in their venues and aims to address current issues such as the use of nitrous oxide, pick-pocketing and drink-spiking.All venues that gain the accreditation will benefit from a 30% reduction in their late night levy fees, an initiative brought in by the Council after the pandemic as part of their wider recovery plan. The scheme is now live and training is available to all licensed venues in the borough. Businesses and venues interested in joining the scheme can find out more information and sign up here: scheme also aligns with the Council’s commitment to ending violence against women and girls ensuring all venues taking part in the the accreditation scheme sign up to the Women’s Safety Charter and promote Hackney’s on-going work to protect women and girls against sexual harassment. The Accreditation Scheme was trialled during a pilot with venues earlier this year. Venues who successfully gained the accreditation were presented their accreditation certificate during a special ceremony attended by the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, the MET and other key safety partners on the scheme.  The Late Night Levy was established in November 2017 as a requirement for any licensee who sells alcohol after midnight to pay into a fund towards crime prevention, additional safety initiatives and the police. Following this, Hackney Nights was created in August 2019 and became the brand for all activities and campaigns funded by the Late Night Levy. 
29th September 2022
“Your next poo could save your life” is the message of a life-saving bowel screening campaign launched in Hackney
Hackney Council is working with NHS London on a lifesaving campaign to encourage more people to check if they could have bowel cancer by completing a free at home screening test. The campaign, which uses the phrases “Your next poo could save your life” urges people who have been sent the free screening kit in the post, to use and return it.Previously, everyone aged 60 to 74 years who is registered with a GP and lives in England was automatically sent a screening kit every 2 years. However, the programme has now expanded so that everyone aged 50 to 59 years will also be eligible for bowel cancer screening. Thanks to the screening programme, bowel cancer was caught early for London resident Simon Clarke, 67.Simon was investigated after his bowel cancer screening test and, in November 2021, polyps – little growths – were removed from his bowel.He said: “I wasn’t particularly worried. I’ve always had the attitude it wouldn’t be me that gets ill. But when they analysed the polyps, cancer was in one of them. They caught it as a very minor tumour, and it hadn’t spread. Without the screening I wouldn’t have known it was there.”Chair of the Community African Network and a volunteer at her local GP surgery, Janet Murungi, 56, from Hackney leads a busy life and found herself putting off the test. She said: “I reminded myself, good health is wealth, especially as one ages!” Janet was surprised by how quick and easy it was. “The instructions were very straightforward, it’s very easy to do – you just follow a few simple steps and you’re done.” Janet sent her sample off using the pre-paid envelope provided. “I prayed for it to be fine,” says Janet, who felt a huge sense of relief when her results came back clear.A specialist team from the NHS will be visiting places of worship, community centres and community spaces including hair salons, restaurants and supermarkets to provide more information about the programme and to answer any concerns from residents.   For more information, videos, case studies and campaign resources, please visit
23rd September 2022
More support for local communities as charity selected to occupy Council building
A charity which advocates on behalf of African and Afro-Caribbean people has been selected as the new tenant of a Hackney Council-owned building prioritised for Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, which benefit from discounted rent and favourable lease conditions.The African Development and Advocacy Centre (AFRIDAC) works to campaign and advocate on behalf of African and Afro-Caribbean communities across the UK and best demonstrated to the Council how it will provide important services for Hackney residents, after an open and competitive process to occupy the Council-owned space on Lower Clapton Road. Open for seven days a week, AFRIDAC will offer a range of community services from the building, providing benefits, housing and immigration advice, talks on sexual health, mental health services, cultural activities, training sessions, food collection, yoga and fitness classes and more.Since its establishment as a not-for-profit organisation in 2009, the charity - which previously operated from a Turkish and Kurdish community centre in Dalston - has been a part of a growing advocacy against racial inequality in the UK. It focuses on areas such as immigration and housing policies that disproportionately affect documented and undocumented migrants from African and Afro-Caribbean backgrounds. Supported through grants from Hackney Council, Hackney Giving, City and Hackney CCG and collaborative work with Hackney CVS, Open Minds Alliance and Community African Network, the charity provides advocacy workshops to address poverty and inequality, mental health services for young people and African men through African Men Safe Space, and has worked to increase vaccine uptake and share information about Covid-19.There was a high level of interest in the building and several charitable organisations were shortlisted and interviewed to occupy the space. Local organisation Hackney CVS helped to market the building and sat on the selection panel, with unsuccessful bidders given support and feedback following the interview process. The Council’s selection of AFRIDAC to occupy the space is the latest action to fulfil a commitment to provide more services for Black and ethnic minority residents in Hackney. The Council leases out up to 50 properties to VCS organisations.
20th September 2022