Hundreds of parents, carers and children enjoyed storytelling, face painting, crafts, animals and activities at Paulsgrove and Somerstown family hubs.

The event, held on Wednesday 26 July, marked the expansion of support available to all Portsmouth families. This includes new Solihull Approach online parenting courses which are now available for all Portsmouth families and professionals for free through the new Virtual Family Hub.

The training is available in over 100 languages and includes courses for parents with children aged from 0-19, postnatal, antenatal and relationship courses as well as courses for parents of children with additional needs.

The celebratory events at the two hubs were a chance for parents to meet each other and speak to professionals who will be delivering services from the city’s five hub buildings.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, cllr Tom Coles and Nikki Coles, attended Paulsgrove to cut the ribbon and officially launch the new support.

Sarah Daly, Director of Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“It’s great to see so many people here at Paulsgrove. We are seeking to grow services based in our hubs and build on the great work that already takes place, ensuring all families can access the support they need. This initiative will benefit from the strong integrated partnership already in place between Portsmouth City Council, our health colleagues, and our wider partners and voluntary organisations.”

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“Partnership working is so important and the success of our Hubs is only made possible by everyone working together.

“We all need help at some point, and what’s great about our Family Hubs is that they will be offering services, and really good fun as well, right throughout a child’s journey.”

Along with the established support already in place, additional services and groups are being further developed. Later this year, a Family Hub champion will be based at each of the five hub buildings to assist anyone who drops seeking support.

Portsmouth’s Family Hubs are jointly delivered by Portsmouth City Council and Solent NHS Trust. Funding for the new services comes from the government’s £300 million investment to improve access to support, advice and support for families through Family Hubs nationally.

A new Portsmouth Virtual Family Hub has also been launched, offering a wealth of online advice, support and training for parents through Family Assist: www.solent.nhs.uk/familyassist