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Support on offer for children & young people going back to school in County Durham

Posted on: Monday 17 Aug 2020

A range of different types of support for County Durham families with children going back to school in September have been set up by an NHS team in the county.

The Growing Healthy County Durham team – made up of health visitors, school nurses and emotional resilience practitioners – have been working hard to adapt ways of working to safely meet the changing needs of families and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The team support children and families across County Durham and this currently includes a particular focus on supporting children back into school in September. In order to do this they have created a dedicated phone number for schools and parents: 03000 263532.

It has been some time since children attended school full-time with their peers and they will have been impacted by the pandemic. They may be struggling with some low level anxiety around going back into school and leaving their carers, or struggling with visualising how school will be with children in their own bubbles. Parents and school staff may have their own queries around getting children into school and the team is here to help.

The team is also hosting a number of virtual online drop-in sessions for parents. These free sessions are promoted via the team’s social media pages:

https://www.facebook.com/growinghealthysouthdurham/  (South)

https://www.facebook.com/GrowingHealthyChLeStandDurham/  (North)

https://www.facebook.com/GrowingHealthyDurham/ (East)

In addition, the team will be visiting outdoor locations across the county such as parks and sea fronts to speak with parents while safely adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Caren Shepherd and Claire Birks, Locality Managers in Durham, said: “Due to the pandemic, over the past few months we’ve had to adapt how we work with families. For example, we’ve not been able to run group sessions, which we know were much appreciated by families. Back to school can be a challenging time and we want to do all we can to provide support, even if it has to be in a different way.

“Our message to families and young people is that if you need help, assistance or guidance, please get in touch. We’re here to support you.

“We’ve already had some families taking part in our online drop-in sessions and they’ve found them really helpful. We want to make sure as many families as possible are able to access these sessions and receive support from the health visitors, school nurses and the emotional resilience team.

“We know that accessing service digitally doesn’t always work for everyone, so we’re also going to be dropping by outdoor locations that we know families will be at. We’re there for a chat with anyone who would like to speak with us.”

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Paul Widdowfield, Communications and Marketing Manager, paul.widdowfield1@nhs.net  and 01423 557470.

Rebecca Huddleston, Communications and Marketing Assistant, rebecca.huddleston1@nhs.net and 01423 557732.