Building upon the Braintree Essex ActivAte offer
A Braintree family steering group was formed in 2019 to ensure families are supported during the school holidays. The partnership consists of Active Essex, Community 360, Braintree Council, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, Family Solutions, School family liaisons and other community organisations. The group meets both prior to and after a school holiday periods to inform planning, raise any challenges and provide feedback for the Essex ActivAte holiday programme.
Due to the variety of partners within the group, they were able to support new providers to join the cohort of Essex ActivAte clubs throughout the school holidays, including to ensure they met the need to deliver mental wellbeing support and families on low income. Working collaboratively the Braintree Family Steering group were able to work with Community 360 to set up a referral process to ensure low-income families receive support. They were able to signpost to additional low-income family provision or into available spaces as part of the regular provision.
As the group set up regular meetings with attendees from local schools, they were able to provide vital insight into local family’s needs and recommend providers to work with going forward. Over the past year this partnership of organisations has strengthened and continues to grow the Essex ActivAte programme collaboratively across the Braintree District.
Having a variety of partners around the table has meant learnings have been shared, recommendations of local partners and community networking takes place to ensure as many families as possible can access this support. This model has worked so well, Active Essex are looking at ways to adopt this across other areas of Essex for the Essex ActivAte programme.
With the success of the Essex ActivAte programme becoming bigger we need to ensure there is continued support for the whole family and that we provide education around food, financial sustainability and the importance of being active. Through the Braintree Family Steering group I feel positive we can continue the great work in Braintree.Chloe Hinds, Active Essex Assistant Relationship Manager, Mid Essex