A focus on ‘Early Years’ for Lisburn

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.