Prof Ray Jones’ Visit to Upper Springfield/Whiterock Family Support Hub

On 5 July 2022, the Upper Springfield/Whiterock Family Support Hub were delighted to welcome Prof  Ray Jones – Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kington University and St George’s, University of London and a registered Social Worker.

It was an amazing opportunity for some of the families and services providers in the Upper Springfield/Whiterock lead body organsiation – the Whiterock Children’s Centre to speak with Prof Jones who has over 50 years experience in social care and as a Social Work Practitioner, manager, teacher and researcher and in 2022 appointed to undertake the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in North of Ireland.

Over the last 50+ years Prof Jones has been involved in an advisory capacity on a range of issues, inquiries, written books and research and has a wealth of experience and accomplishments to date.

Prof Jones’ visit to Whiterock Children’s Centre was a wonderful opportunity for families, service providers and Upper Springfeld/Whiterock Hub and lead organisations to give an insight into the diverse range of services and partners that come together to help make an amazing Hub!.

Upper Springfield/Whiterock Hub mantra – “we are only as good as those services around the table” is something that the Hub feel strongly about and they have continued to build upon from when the Hub was established in 2014.

The morning discussion focused on the strength in service providers coming together and working together – community, statutory and voluntary to provide the best possible bespoke support to suit the needs of each family how contact Upper Springfield/Whiterock Family Support Hub.

Families also spoke at length about the Upper Springfield/Whiterock Family Support Hub, the level of support and services provided by the core and associate members and how such support made a huge difference in their lives as a family.  Such experiences noted included help with social isolation, integration into new area/community, practical support, counselling, emotional and behavioural support for adults and children, help for those families awaiting assessment etc.

For the Hub, it was a humbling experience to hear just how such services have helped some of their families and the Hub were hugely grateful that families took time to note their own personal experiences in such an open forum.  At times it was very moving meeting and a privilege for Hub staff/service providers to hear some of the individual experiences from those present.

Hub staff and service providers look forward to reading the independent review and will continue to build upon the good work of the Upper Springfield/Whiterock Family Support Hub in the time ahead, as  they are only too aware that families need such Family Support Hubs and it is likely that the demand will only increase in the months ahead.







Family Support Hub Celebration Event – June 2022

On 24 June 2022 the CYPSP Support Team, Family Support Hub (Hub) Coordinators, Hub members and other integral Partners came together for the first time since 2018, to reflect on and celebrate the work of the Hubs with particular focus on the work of the Hubs and members during the pandemic.

The day also provided an opportunity for Bronwyn Campbell to meet Hub Coordinators in person for the first time since taking up the role of Regional Family Support Hub Coordinator within the Health & Social Care Board (now SPPG/DoH) at the beginning of January 2022.

Aidan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency and CYPSP Chairperson, opened the event, reflecting on the achievements of the Hubs.

Valerie Maxwell (Children’s Services Planning & Information Manager, SPPG/DoH) presented an animated video summarising the 2021/22 Annual Report, before Bronwyn Campbell addressed the Coordinators.

Presentations followed from Coordinators and Hub members – Lisa Grant (Craigavon & Portadown Hub), Alison Slater (Newry Hub), Joanne McCourt (Belfast Central Mission), Claire Larkin (Northern Area Hubs) and Sharon Nelson (Springfield & Whiterock Hub) who showcased how they adapted and changed their services in creative ways to enabled them to continue to meet the needs of the families and young people despite lockdown.

James Gallagher from Lifeline gave a fantastic presentation on “Caring for the Caregiver” and Eugene Mone from Barnardo’s brought along the Sensory Overload Virtual Reality Experience, a really powerful and thought provoking piece of work.

After a group exercise facilitated by Maxine Gibson (Children’s Services Planning Professional Advisor, SPPG/DoH) looking at what Coordinators seen as the challenges facing the Hubs in the next 12 months and how to rise to these challenges, the event was brought to a close by Maurice Leeson (Programme Manager Partnerships, Emotional Health & Wellbeing, CAMHS and Disability, SPPG/DoH).  This was particularly fitting given that Maurice played such a central role in the establishment of the Hub Network.


BSCR Period Poverty Initiative

Belfast South Community Resources (BSCR), has launched a new period poverty initiative in the South Belfast area. Period poverty is a challenge facing many girls and women across Northern Ireland, with many forced to use makeshift sanitary wear such as toilet roll and socks because they struggle to afford sanitary products.

The project aims to overcome what is often referred to as the ‘toxic trio’: the cost of sanitary products; a lack of education about periods; and the shame, stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation. This is being achieved by creating awareness on social media platforms, providing in-school workshops to promote good menstrual knowledge and donating a number of sanitary and hygiene products to schools, churches and community organisations, where girls facing period poverty can access products.

For more information or to get involved with this Period Poverty Initiative, please contact Sophie Dempster (Education, Health and Well-being Coordinator for BSCR):

Belfast Agenda Review – Engagement Plan

Shape the next stage of Belfast’s journey.

Belfast Agenda Review – Engagement Plan (Phase 1)
The engagement plan has been drafted to achieve the following engagement outcomes from the initial phase of Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation which seeks to reach consensus on:
• The long-term vision and outcomes for Belfast (to 2035); and
• The short-term priorities, which will form the focus of community planning activity over the period 2022-2026.

The Plan includes four flagship area-based, online workshops, for which we will work with local partners to plan and deliver the event. Please note that while further thematic events are planned for Phase 2 (Action Planning), an Engagement Toolkit will be provided for all partners should they wish to lead/ deliver additional events or engage their stakeholders directly. It is proposed that any information captured from these events is fed back to

It is assumed that lockdown measures will remain in place for the near future and therefore, most engagement events will at least initially take place virtually or online. However, if the situation improves, we will allow for face-to-face engagement later in the process.

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8th Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference

The CYPSP Team were delighted to be chosen to share two presentations and three posters at the 8th Annual Social work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference on Wednesday 10th March 2021 on the Impact of Covid19 on Children and Young People, Our Journey through Disability Co-production and the new Translation Hub needs assessment/development.

Una Casey, Business Support Manager presented research on the impact of COVID-19 on families, children and young people and emotional mental health.  Also Darren Curtis, Locality Development officer, and Jim McDonnell, a parent presented on their excellent example of co-production work within the Newry Locality Planning Group on Our Journey through Disability.

CYPSP also submitted 3 posters to the conference demonstrating some of the broad work of the Partnership based on research, evidence, co-production and partnership. Huge congratulations to Una for winning 2nd prize on her poster relaying her research on the Impact of Covid-19 on families, Children and Young People.  Also well done to Michael Hill and Valerie Maxwell, CYPSP Information team, for designing and producing the posters and video which are available to download in PDF format below.  Just click on each poster:-  View Video at Translation-Hub-Video – Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) (