Greta Gershon (Health Visitor): “it’s a God-send to be able to refer a vulnerable family to the Centre… you can be confident that their needs will be addressed. The Centre also often helps parents and children to make the transition from a fuller social services intervention”.
St Francis’ Family Centre in Poplar (in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets) was established in 1986. The children and families attending come from low income families. Many live in substandard accommodation where economic and social pressure has resulted in family break up. 77% of children living in Poplar and Canning Town live in low-income families where one or both parents is working and earning minimum wages. Across Tower Hamlets as a whole over two-thirds of children are living in “income-deprived families” making it the most deprived borough in England on that measure.
We play a vital role in the community, offering parents and carers practical and effective help in withstanding the pressures on family life and children’s development. We seek to help families to break free from the poverty trap and enable children to grow and achieve their full potential.
- Toy library
- Drop-in sessions for families
- After-school group
- Summer holidays and day trips for children and families that use the centre
- Assisting parents to find information on a variety issues including welfare benefits, health issues, housing and training.
- Classes for parents in areas such as computers, first aid, self defence and healthy eating.
Here’s what Ofsted said about our services:
‘All children and their families receive outstanding support from staff, enabling them to thrive and make excellent individual progress’
The staff team are “skilled, passionate, enthusiastic and dynamic… [they] are exemplary role models for children”
“Children benefit enormously from the highly welcoming, well organised and stimulating learning environment”
“Children settle well and flourish in this inspiring setting”
We continuously seek feedback and opinions from our service users to help us tailor the services to their specific needs. Involving our families empowers them as they play an integral part in the centre’s success. This helps in restoring the self-esteem that is often lost through having to struggle to survive for years on a low income.
Michelle Ward (Tower Hamlets Early Years Inclusion Officer): “St Francis is unique in the area, in that it dedicates itself to working with the whole family”.