Family Hubs


We have recently been awarded some money to upgrade four of our Children’s Centres into Family Hubs in our local area.

So what are Family Hubs?

Family Hubs are a place for people to access a broad range of early help to overcome difficult situations they may be facing. Support will be available for families with children and young people aged 0-19 (or up to 25 for those with SEND).

Before any final decisions are made, or plans solidified, we want to find out what people in Blackburn with Darwen actually want. To do this we started to advertise a parent carer panel which had a great response with over 180 people interested in being a part of.

One of our goals is to reach as many different groups within our borough as possible, from our initial sign ups we noticed we had a gap in our SEND parents/carers. To tackle this we have arranged to hold a booth at our upcoming Disability Information Day, which is on the 2nd of March. We are hoping we can chat to as many parents and carers as possible, as we know and understand that those with caring responsibilities may struggle to come to the pre-planned sessions.

We have also listened to feedback and are in the midst of planning an evening session, so we can also try to capture the thoughts and feelings of those who may be working during the daytime workshops.

Our first workshop

We had a great first session, which took place on Tuesday the 17th of January 2023, at Shadsworth Children’s Centre. We wanted to use accessible locations that people were familiar with and offered a crèche as we wanted to remove as many barriers as possible to people attending so welcomed those with children.

We gathered a lot of really useful feedback, which we have taken away and analysed. We have started to collate the feedback into some key themes, and are interested to see whether these carry through to other centres – or if each will have completely different needs.

The key themes from the first session were:

1. SEND support 2. Partnerships with other organisations 3. Access to information


A lot of the people who attended are also really keen to continue their involvement, which is exactly what we wanted to hear. It is really important to us to continue to build and foster these relationships, as we believe this will be the key to developing the Family Hubs.

We have started a Facebook group too so that we can keep in regular two way communication, and have a platform to have to have open discussions in-between sessions.

Going forward we want to continue to have these workshops with as many people as we can reach, and gather as many ideas as we can – continually developing our processes as we go!

“Our overall aim for our Family Hubs is to ensure that everyone is able to access the help and support they need at an early stage, tackling any issues before they escalate, reducing disadvantage and achieving better outcomes for all children and young people.”

By Katie Leake on 27th Jan 2023
Katie Leake is an Assistant Service Designer with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council