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New family centre linked to school

02 December 2014

The first child and family centre linked to a Jersey primary school is due to open this week.

Samarès Pathways, which is in the grounds of Samarès primary school, aims to support families with young children in the heart of their own community so that services are easily accessible.

Samarès is a pilot project jointly funded by Education, Sport and Culture, Health and Social Services and Family Nursing & Home Care. It has been set up in the building formerly used by the NSPCC.

The centre will work in partnership with families to provide services which they find valuable including:

  • health visitors and community nursery nurses
  • child health clinics
  • parenting support groups such as a JELLY Club that promotes early learning and literacy
  • pop-in and play groups
  • premature baby support
  • breakfast clubs

Samarès head teacher Andrew Willis said “We are a school in the centre of our community, which makes us an important focal point for all families in the area. The new centre enables us to expand what we do and support the very youngest children by supporting their families. The centre is a friendly, welcoming place for parents to come and provides a gentle focus on health and education that will help us to spot any potential issues early on.”

The official opening takes place at 1.30 pm on Thursday 4 December when Lady McColl will cut a ribbon and contribute, along with other invited guests, parents and children, to a piece of community art.

ESC Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said “One of my priorities over the next three years is to make sure we reach out and help families because, if we get this right, their children can get the best possible start in life. It’s important they are able to make the most of opportunities at school and have good life chances. Some families find it difficult to ask for support and the key is to make it easy for them to get the advice they need. The community should be a key focus in everything this government does.”

Health and Social Services Minister Senator Andrew Green said “Early intervention was highlighted in the White Paper ‘Caring for Each Other, Caring For Ourselves’ as essential for identifying health or social problems when children are very young. This pilot project will enable us to target our services and help families as quickly and effectively as possible and the joint working is recognised as being an important factor in making this a success.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Family Nursing & Home Care, Julie Gafoor, said “We are passionate about delivering care that makes a real difference to people’s lives and this partnership project at Samarès Pathways will enable us to do just that. Working in a centre linked to a school in a residential area, means we can deliver the most effective support possible to the people who need it most.”

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