Family Support

Family Support

We are always here to help you whatever the problem may be. You may want to talk to us about something that is worrying you about your child, or it may be worries that affect your whole family, they might not even be school related. We are here to help you in any way we can. If you feel happy, safe and secure, so do your children. We want your whole family unit to benefit from our support; as an important part of the community it’s our role to make sure you feel supported.

Please come and see us if you ever need any help and advice. We may not always be able to do something directly, but we may be able to find you someone that can.

See below for some other useful information if you need some support at home.

The Norfolk Food Bank Scheme

Norwich Foodbank distributes emergency food supplies for individuals and families to cover the 72 hour gap which is typically the time needed for care agencies to put support in place. Food aid is only given to those who have been referred via a voucher scheme by front line local care professionals who have assessed them to be in crisis and in need of emergency food. The scheme also provides other essentials such as nappies and baby milk. People accessing the Foodbank are in a variety of circumstances including financial crisis due to benefits delay, unemployment, debt, sickness, domestic violence or relationship breakdown.

The Foodbank also donates some excess produce to community projects such as breakfast clubs in deprived areas, Salvation Army schemes and domestic violence projects. Food is donated by individuals via collections at supermarkets, schools, churches, businesses, charities and at drop off points around the city. The Norwich Foodbank received support from both the Lovewell Blake Fund and Comic Relief in 2012. 5,586 people received food parcels in 2012, and around 7,500 in 2013.

See below for some other Food Banks…

Wroxham and Hoveton United Reform Church
114 Norwich Road, Wroxham, NR12 8SA
Opening times: Thursdays 10:30 am - 12 noon (excl. Bank Holidays)
01603 251733

Stalham Baptist Church Stables
High St, Stalham , NR12 9AZ,
This is run by CROMER & DISTRICT FOODBANK  - 07826376343.

St Elizabeth's Church
Cadge Road, Norwich, NR5 8DG - a free breakfast is available to those with a foodbank voucher
Opening times:  Monday 10:30am – 12:00 noon (excl. Bank Holidays) Wednesday 10:30am – 12:00 noon (excl. Bank Holidays)

Witard Road Baptist Church
Witard Road, Norwich NR7 9XG
Opening times: Monday 2:00pm – 3:30pm (excl. Bank Holidays)

Oak Grove Chapel
70 Catton Grove Road, Norwich, NR3 3NT - a free hot meal is available for those accessing foodbank AND the community
Opening times: Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:30pm (excl. Bank Holidays)

St Stephens Church Chapelfield
Rampant Horse Street, Norwich NR2 1QP
Opening times: Wednesday 10:00am – 12:00 noon (excl. Bank Holidays) Saturdays 10:30am – 12:00 noon (excl. Bank Holidays)

New Hope Christian Centre
2 Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2HX
Opening times: Wednesdays 12 noon – 2:00pm (excl. Bank Holidays)

Mile Cross Methodist Church
Aylsham Road, Mile Cross, Norwich, NR3 2RU
Opening times: Thursdays 1:30pm – 3:00pm (excl. Bank Holidays)

Norwich Central Baptist Church
Duke St, Norwich, NR3 3AP
Opening times: Thursdays 1:30pm – 3:00pm (excl. Bank Holidays)

Early Help

Early help is about working with children, young people and their families to offer the right support at an early stage before a small need becomes a bigger one. A number of different professionals and organisations may be involved in the early help process to offer support in a range of areas. The goal of early help is to support families to resolve their own problems and prevent further problems in the future.

What is the family support process?

The family support process is how people who work with children and families find out what sort of support your family needs so they can offer help at the earliest opportunity.

How does the family support process work?

Finding out what is going okay, and which areas you and your family might like some support with, is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. We need to have all the pieces before we can put them together to make the whole picture, and then together we can decide the best way to help. If you agree, your worker will use the family support form to gather the right information to share with others who can help. By doing this you should only need to tell your story once. A team, including you and your family, will decide the best way to help, and will work with you to put together a plan of action. Those involved will agree with you what needs to be done and be clear about who is going to do it. The feelings and wishes of you and your children should always be included. A lead worker will be chosen. You and your family should have a say in who this person is going to be.

What does a lead worker do?

The lead worker is your main contact if there are a number of people working to support your family. The lead worker will keep you informed of what is happening and be there to answer your questions and support you through the early help process. They will also organise and be the contact for the other professionals and agencies working with you.

Who might be involved?

We will discuss with you who should be involved. This could include workers from school, health, the children’s centre or others who work with families. You can choose to be involved in this way of working but you also have the right to not be involved at any stage. It really is your choice. Older children may want to make their own decision to be involved in the family support process or not. They have the right to make this decision.

Who will see information about my family?

As a rule the information on your family support form will not be shared with anyone else unless you agree for us to do so. However, there may be times when people working with you have a duty to share information. For example:

  • If we need to find out urgently if you or someone else is at risk of harm
  • To help stop a crime.

Coping with money worries

It's normal to feel worried, anxious or down when times are hard. Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and financial problems can all cause emotional distress. But there are lots of things you can do to help yourself if you're in a difficult situation. David Richards, professor of mental health services research at the University of Exeter, explains how financial problems can affect your mental wellbeing. He also offers lifestyle tips to help you out of a slump and advice on when to seek medical help.

How financial problems affect mental health

When you've been made redundant or you're struggling with debt, feeling low or anxious is a normal response. Losing your job can affect your self-esteem and financial circumstances, which in turn can trigger emotional distress. Fear of redundancy can also lead to worry, which is a very common human emotion. You may be feeling, behaving or thinking in ways that are unfamiliar. But this doesn't necessarily mean you're suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder.

How can you feel more positive?

Professor Richards' top tips for coping with feeling low and anxious are: "Be more active, face your fears, and don't drink too much alcohol."

  • Being more active means not withdrawing from life. Keep seeing your friends. Keep your CV up-to-date. Don't ignore the bills – try to keep paying them. If you have more time because you're not at work, take up some form of exercise, as it can improve your mood if you're feeling low. See Get fit for free for ideas on how to exercise without spending any money. You can also search for exercise classes and sports clubs close to where you live.
  • Facing your fears means not avoiding things you find difficult. For example, if it looks like you're going into debt, get advice on how to prioritise your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. Some people can lose their confidence about driving or travelling. If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will generally make them easier.
  • For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with or hiding your emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won't help you deal with your problems and could add to your stress. Get tips on how to cut down on alcohol.

Why routine is important

If you don't have to go to work in the morning, you can get into a poor sleep routine, lying in bed until late or watching TV all day. Get up at your normal time and stick to your routine. If you lose your routine, it can also affect your eating. You may stop cooking, eat snacks instead of having proper meals, or miss breakfast because you're still in bed.

When should I get help?

Most people who experience emotional distress will pick themselves up after a few days or weeks and then feel able to tackle challenges such as finding a new job. But for a small number of people, the feelings of anxiety and low mood don't go away, and these feelings interfere with the way they live their life. If you're still feeling worried, anxious or low after a few weeks, see your GP. You may find that talking to a professional therapist could help. Your GP can advise you on talking therapy services in your area.

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau (link a good place to get information about benefits, how to deal with debt, what you're entitled to if you're made redundant, and who to speak to if you end up losing your home. Citizens Advice Bureau has lots of information on sorting out debt on its website in the section on Help with debt. The charity Mind has a section on its website called Money and mental health, which includes advice on how to manage debt.

Other useful organisations include:

  • Money Advice Service (link (0300 500 5000)
  • National Debtline (link ) (0808 808 4000)
  • StepChange Debt Charity (link (0800 138 1111)
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