CONNECTING RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
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Zone West offers children a unique relationship with an inspiring professional over the long term. Through this relationship children are guided to developmental goals that are hard to reach. In regular individual and group sessions confidence is built up until the child is able to independently attend the full range of activities a community can offer.
How we started
Zone West is a Link Worker project delivering social prescribing for children in the West End of Newcastle. Dr Mike McKean, Clinical Director at Great North Children’s Hospital and Prof Chris Drinkwater, Chair at Ways to Wellness together with our CEO Toby Quibell were inspired by examples of link worker practice in the region and nationally to make something happen for children in Newcastle. This project is funded by grants and health sources.
What guides us
We want children to flourish in life and we look for outcomes in education, health and community settings. To achieve we picture the child at the centre of a network of relationships and resources, and work hard to make the organisation of resources reflect this core priority.
What we currently do
We work with a number of schools and GP surgeries in the West End of Newcastle, taking referrals and holding conversations to identify cohorts of children for our Link Workers programmes. Each child is allocated a Link Worker, who will have mentoring meetings and groupwork sessions with them each week. Through that relationship the aim is to help the child identify targets and then link them to activities.
How you can get involved
We would love to tell you about our work. We feel that by using a social prescribing model with children we are doing something very unusual. Particularly as this crosses health, education and community concerns. If you are doing something similar – we would love to hear from you.