A focus on Early Years for Lisburn

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 – Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement
A focus on Early Years for Lisburn

The Public Health Agency has identified early child development as a key priority. The evidence is overwhelming and it is clear that these early years are critically important for many aspects of health throughout life. As part of this work, a plan is being developed to address the health and wellbeing needs of very young children and their families living in Lisburn following research funding of £20,000 from the Public Health Agency (PHA).

The research project, across the north and south of Lisburn, will be delivered by Barnardos on behalf of the Resurgam partnership – which includes the PHA, the Resurgam Community Development Trust Limited and Lisburn City Council – and will explore specific needs and issues, map current services, review the evidence of what works best and design a plan for future work in this area.

Lisburn has a number of areas of deprivation where parents and children are particularly disadvantaged in terms of their health and education in comparison to the more affluent areas. Establishing Early Interventions will help to give children the social and emotional bedrock they need to reach their full potential; and will help older children become the good parents of tomorrow.

Describing the importance of this work Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency was set up to tackle health inequality; we do this in partnership with other organisations. Giving every child the best start in life is a key focus for us.

“I am delighted that Barnardos has already started to engage with the local community and the statutory, community and voluntary and private sectors, through various workshops, as part of this work.

“The final report will be invaluable, not only in identifying specific needs and reviewing evidence but also as it will design a model of delivery and an action plan for the future.”

Adrian Bird, a Director of the Resurgam Community Development Trust Limited, welcomed Chief Executive Dr Eddie Rooney to Laganview Enterprise Centre and said: "The Resurgam Trust works in communities throughout Lisburn and we look forward to developing our relationship with the Public Health Agency. Addressing education and health issues are key priorities for the Resurgam Trust and it is essential that we have good solid working relationships with all departments including the Public Health Agency."

The research report, which is due in May 2012, will help to identify the local needs in early years and develop an action plan to meet them in order to improve the health and social wellbeing of residents in north and south Lisburn.

Further information

Contact PHA Press Office Tel: (028) 9055 3663.

Notes to the editor

  • The Resurgam (Latin for ‘I shall rise again’) Community Development Trust Limited was established in January 2011 by local community partnerships in Lisburn, led primarily by Lisburn PSP, a community development support organisation.
  • The PHA has been systematically examining evidence of best practice and effectiveness to ensure that investment and joint working will bring clear benefits in health and wellbeing improvement. We are setting out four key themes to our work:
    • Give every child and young person the best start in life
    • Ensure a decent standard of living for all
    • Build sustainable communities
    • Make healthy choices easier
  • The PHA has established a Child Health Development Board which has developed and supported a number of evidence-based early years’ interventions such as
    • Family Nurse Partnership, a programme providing extensive nurse led support to first time mothers, aged 19 and below, in the Western HSC trust area
    • Roots of Empathy, a primary school based programme that encourages emotional learning and empathy and has been shown to lead to a reduction in bullying and violence.
    • The Child Health Development Board is also exploring the development of an integrated pathway for children aged 0-18 years.

Picture caption:

Members of the Lisburn Resurgam partnership pictured are (L-R): Chris Totten, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (South Eastern area), Public Health Agency (PHA); Denis Paisley, Director of Resurgam Trust; Adrian Bird, Director of Resurgam Trust and Chair of the Resurgam Partnership; Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA and Paul Porter, Lisburn City Council representative and PHA Board member. The Resurgam partnership is working to improve the health and wellbeing of very young children and their families in north and south Lisburn.