NHS and charities supporting families during pandemic

0-19 play pack (web crop) (003)
(Last Updated On: July 31, 2020)

An NHS support service for families and young people in Torbay has formed a partnership with a number of charities to enhance the support provided to local people.

The comprehensive 0-19 Torbay partnership brings together Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s Health Visiting and School Nursing service, Action for Children and The Children’s Society to provide a single point of access to parents, families and young people in the area.

During the pandemic 0-19 is also working with the WI locally and the charity Play Torbay to target support to those most isolated.

Families are offered parenting advice around all aspects of child development and signposting families to areas of support available to them.

Vashti Wilks, 0-19 Partnership/Service Manager for the Trust, said: “Working in partnership with our colleagues and the community, during the pandemic we have maintained support for children, young people and their families by new ways of keeping in touch through virtual working, telephone, social media and home visits to targeted families.

“We are also visiting families at home to support the preparation for parenthood and in the early days after having had a new baby. We will arrange a suitable time to call wearing PPE and observing social distancing.”

Families in need during the pandemic are provided with play packs and equipment and educational IT by the service in partnership with Play Torbay and the local Wellswood WI in Torquay.

More than 100 play packs have been distributed which include ideas how to access on-line educational resources, books kindly donated thanks to funding from Action for Children’s coronavirus appeal, while cake mixes are included by the WI.

Key work has been helping families with their children’s education while schools are closed due to the pandemic. Families are also supported with practical needs, including replacement of broken washing machines and cookers, transport costs and shopping vouchers thanks to funding from Action for Children’s coronavirus appeal.

Rachel Aggett, of Action for Children, said: “We have been delivering the play packs and shopping to some of the families we support through the children’s centres, this has given us the opportunity to have face-to-face visits on the door step to families who have needed support throughout the pandemic.

“We have also been able to engage many new families and build new, trusting relationships with families.”

Rachel added: “One mother said her sons had been really enjoying doing the school work on the tablet and they were now able to catch up and finish new work coming through from the school.”

Parent, Jess Cooper, said: “Thank you, we’re going to do more each day, the pack is amazing and has so much in it. My son Oscar has enjoyed making rockets and monsters.’’

If you know a family who would benefit from a play pack please contact play Torbay for a referral form, playpack@playtorbay.org.uk

Due to coronavirus, 0-19 Torbay has been offering telephone and virtual appointments and sessions providing support to most families.

Some face-to-face work has continued throughout, which has been prioritised depending on need, as guidance changes more services are returning such as home visits to those who have just had a baby. More details will be posted on the 0-19 Facebook page.

For all health visiting and school nursing enquiries, Action for Children children’s centres, and The Children’s Society’s Checkpoint service, contact the Admin Hub on 0300 333 5352 or email Public Health Nursing
0 to 19 Torbay website has advice covering expecting a baby, 0 to 4 years, 5 to 12 years, 13 to 19 years https://www.0to19torbay.co.uk

Action for Children TALK service – a live chat service for parents to access online 12noon – 7.30pm Monday and Thursday, 9.30am 4.30pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 9.30am-4pm Friday, https://parents.actionforchildren.org.uk

Free online antenatal and parenting courses available for all parents living in Torbay, go to www.inourplace.co.uk, and enter the access code TAMAR.

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