Spurgeons Children’s Charity is set to deliver a new £2.5m Family Centre service in partnership with Surrey County Council in the borough of Elmbridge.
A three-year contract, which may be extended for a further two years, has been awarded to provide support for local families with children aged 0-11 years. The contract started this month and delivery begins from 19 November with initial mobilisation.
Spurgeons will run two new Family Centres, at Walton-on-Thames and at Three Rivers, West Molesey, and will also operate a satellite centre in the south of the borough, at Cobham. There will be a much greater focus on outreach, with Spurgeons’ specialist Family Support Workers engaging families across Elmbridge, in the heart of their communities.
Working with local partners, the charity currently runs 27 children’s centres across Cambridgeshire, the West Midlands and Wiltshire, focused on helping communities with high levels of deprivation. Spurgeons also provides support services for young carers, dads, families with a parent in prison, families living with domestic violence and for separated parents, as well as running an early intervention project in Birmingham that helps protect girls from Child Criminal Exploitation.
Targeting local need early on
Although the Surrey contract will see Spurgeons operating in a new county, the move into Surrey has the charity returning to an area with a special place in its rich heritage. Surrey was familiar territory for founder and legendary Victorian Baptist Minister, Charles Haddon Spurgeon when delivering his sermons, accompanied by a large travelling congregation.
Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for Children in Surrey, said: “We want to create a network of Family Centres around the county which support children right up until they’re 11, rather than five as now. Most importantly our service will be based on outreach so that we can target the families most in need of support and provide help for them close to home.
“By targeting our resources more effectively, we can provide help early on and prevent problems escalating. We will work with families to bring about change so that they do not need more high level services later on.”
“Exciting new challenge”
Spurgeons’ Chief Executive Ross Hendry pointed to an “exciting new challenge” for Spurgeons, where support will be provided for families with children from a wider age range (0-11 years) than the charity’s traditional family support and children’s centre services (0-5 years). He also recognised the need for concerted preparation in moving into new territory.
Yet, he added: “It feels very fitting for us to be reconnecting with the Spurgeons heritage and, once again, supporting children and their families more than 150 years on.
“But, actually, I believe we have been successful in being asked to deliver this new programme in Surrey because of our strong values, our commitment to quality and our record in going the extra mile, not just to help children cope but to really develop and flourish.”
- This Spurgeons Surrey contract award comes after the charity retained the Birmingham Children’s Trust contract to deliver services for Birmingham’s young carers, following a successful retender in the summer.