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Nottingham launches new website to provide help for young people and families


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International Girl Child Day, African Girl and Education

Girl Day is celebrated every year on October 11 as an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by girls around the world, especially in Africa, and the importance of providing them with quality education. In this article, we explore the Day's importance in the context of education in Africa, the challenges faced by girls, and initiatives aimed at improving their access to education. Education is a human right and the basis of personal and social development. However, African girls often face many barriers that prevent them from accessing education. These issues may be cultural, economic or political, but they all contribute to gender inequality in education. Girls' Day provides an opportunity to address these issues and work for gender equality in education.One of the most important problems faced by girls in Africa is early marriage and pregnancy. Cultural norms in many African societies dictate that girls should marry at a young age, often forcing them to drop out of school. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive sex education can lead to unintended pregnancies, further hindering their educational progress. Initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of delaying marriage and pregnancy until after completing their education are crucial.Another major obstacle is poverty. Many families in Africa struggle to meet basic needs, and education can be costly due to expenses like uniforms, books, and transportation. Girls are often the first to be withdrawn from school when a family faces financial constraints. To address this issue, scholarships, school donation programs, and affordable school supplies can help reduce the financial burden on families and support girls' education.Additionally, especially in rural areas, the distance to school will prevent girls from going to school. Unsafe travel and long distances can put them at risk. Building more schools and providing transportation closer to communities could help solve this problem. In many African countries, boys are expected to be encouraged in education and girls are expected to work within the family. It is important to change these attitudes and promote the value of girls' education. Social awareness programs and inclusive education programs that challenge stereotypes can play a key role.Child labor is another problem affecting girls. Many girls have to work to support their families, leaving little time for education. Government policies and international organizations can work to eliminate child labor and ensure girls have the opportunity to go to school.Unfortunately, conflicts and conflict in many parts of Africa have disrupted education and made it difficult for girls to access education. Efforts to build peace and improve education in post-conflict regions are critical to providing girls with a stable and safe learning environment.One of the best ways to improve educational opportunities for girls in Africa is to support and train female teachers. Many female teachers can act as role models and make it easier for girls to stay in school by creating an inclusive environment.Investing in girls' education in Africa has many long-term benefits. It can break the cycle of poverty, improve women's health, and promote gender equality. Girls who receive an education are more likely to make informed decisions about their health, family, and career. They are also more likely to become financially independent and contribute to their communities and economies. Several organizations, both local and international, are actively working to improve the education of girls in Africa. Plan International, UNICEF, and the Malala Fund are just a few examples. They provide resources, advocacy, and support to ensure that girls have equal access to quality education.In conclusion, Girl Child Day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by girls in Africa when it comes to education. The challenges they face are many and include cultural barriers, financial constraints, and gender stereotypes. But through a combination of advocacy, policy change, and organizational efforts, progress can be made to ensure that girls receive a quality education just like boys. Investing in girls' education is not only a human rights issue but also a key driver of economic growth in Africa. This is something worth celebrating and encouraging on Girls' Day and every day.

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Nottingham has launched a new website in a bid to support the city’s Early Help Partnership, a strategy that will help young people and families to stay woke and well informed.

According to a statement from the Nottingham City Council, Early Help will provide advice, support, and effective evidenced based interventions, preventing or reducing the need for families to become involved with statutory services.

Young people, families, and early help professionals can get information on the following website which has been created: www.earlyhelpnottingham.org.uk

Nottingham City has long been recognised as a leader in implementing early help services for young people and families.  

Early Help Partnership Strategy for families and young adults

The Nottingham Early Help Partnership strategy is the first time the city has come together to develop a comprehensive, cooperative, multi-partner programme.

Reads in part the statement: “Children, young people, and families from Nottingham City helped co-create the principles and vision of a service that will see organisations and professionals across public service organisations working together to deliver Early Help.

“Nottingham City Council and partners in the city have worked with young people and families to identify what good early help looks like.”

Cheryl Barnard, portfolio holder for Children, Young People and Education said: “It is exciting that we have been able to develop a new strategy that will help our citizens reach their potentials in today’s challenging times.

The website is targeting families and young people

“I am very proud that partners have come together to develop ways of working that will make it less likely that children and young people need statutory service involvement.

She added: “Nottingham has a long history of developing Early Intervention services and today’s launch provides the next chapter.”

Coordinated approach

As a result, says the city council, the partners have developed a hub to help young people and families get the right help, at the right time. 

Further reads the statement: “The aim is to provide a coordinated approach to help young people and families become resilient and reach their full potential.

“The approach includes good early years development from pre-birth, through adolescence, getting a good education, improved mental and physical health, good family relationships, living safe from harm and free from crime and substance use.”

Families like this one need to stay informed.

Early Help partners recognise that by working effectively with each other, outcomes for Nottingham’s children and their families can be improved further.  

Partners include the City Council, NHS, Small Steps, Big Changes (SSBC), City Care, Department of Works and Pensions (DWP), Family Hubs, Futures for You, Healthy Little Minds, Integrated Care Board (ICB), Nottingham Community Voluntary Service (NCVS), Nottingham Schools Trust, Nottinghamshire Police, St Ann’s Advice Centre, Violence Reduction Partnership, Youth Justice Service.  

Key to the development of the strategy has been listening to potential users to understand what support they want and need to cope with the today’s challenges.

This has meant that inter-partner services can be tuned to provide timely interventions. 

For instance, new mothers identified that understanding where they could find support in mother and baby groups was very important.

It would allow them to form social connections and to get informal advice from their peers, a useful addition to the advice from professionals.

To facilitate cross partner working, the programme is working towards embedding a Whole Family Early Help Assessment and standardising documentation.

This will help by allowing partners to access all the relevant information, leading to a consistent approach and ensure that information is only collected once and is consistent across the partnership.

Bulding resilience

In 2008, Nottingham became the first ‘Early Intervention City’ with the launch of programmes designed to improve the life chances of its children most in need of additional support.

Nottingham’s Early Help offer has been through various transformations over the years, including Sure Start local programmes and Children’s Centres.

Throughout these changes, there has remained a focus on giving families the tools to build their resilience.

A group school-going teenagers in Nottingham who will benefit from the new website.

In 2013 Nottingham was awarded funding from the Department of Levelling Up to deliver the Priority Families programme, (nationally known as Troubled Families) which became the Supporting Families programme in 2021. 

In 2015, Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC), hosted by Nottingham CityCare Partnership received significant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘A Better Start’ programme.

The programme has a focus on prevention and early intervention in early years to test and learn around early child development, workforce, coproduction and influencing commissioning locally.

“Nottingham has a long history of developing Early Intervention services and today’s launch provides the next chapter.”

Councillor Cheryl Barnard
Portfolio holder for Children, Young People and Education


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