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First Steps Forward

First Steps Forward (FSF) is an exciting new project being delivered in partnership with VANL, Westcliffe Community Works, and Crosby Community Association, which is being built around strengthening our deprived communities, with particular emphasis on the experiences of young children up to the age of 5, and their wider families. The aim of the project is to help tackle the broad inequalities that some families face, which significantly impact on the future life chances of children and perpetuate an intergenerational cycle of deprivation.


Currently the service is only operational within Scunthorpe communities, because this is where the highest level of inequalities sits. As a community-based approach, it is important that we strengthen the support by working with other community-based services and that is why we are working in partnership with VANL, NL MIND, Westcliffe Community Works, and Crosby Community Association, who are operating in the heart of community and therefore best placed to engage and enable wider community groups and organisations to welcome and support families to benefit. The benefits of this approach for families will be increased confidence, skills, and aspirations, creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion.


The support will address the risks and barriers faced by families and deliver a bespoke service aimed at meeting the whole needs of the family in achieving a positive, successful, and healthy life by offering the following:

  • Parenting Support

  • Coaching, mentoring, and working towards personal goals and aspirations.

  • Supporting to improve relationships with family, friends, and community.

  • Navigation and support to understand and improve relationships with other agencies, i.e. schools, health, and social workers etc

  • Practical help to ensure the safety of adults and children.

  • Mental Health, counselling and wellbeing support offered by NL MIND.


The service is now ‘live’ and offering bespoke support to families, which will be tailored to the needs identified by parents themselves and designed to specifically address their needs, goals, and aspirations. It will happen in the place the family feels most comfortable in, including their own home. Families will be offered 1 to 1 support provided by family Support Coordinators staff and volunteers.

Referral for Support 


If you are a parent of a child under 5 living in Scunthorpe and feel like you need support to deal with issues affecting the wellbeing of your family, please contact us to hear how we can help. Our support in confidential and non-judgemental and you choose whether to accept help or not.


Call Lynne (based at VANL) on 01724845155 option 7, Sophie (based at Crosby Community Association) on 07789 908635, Adelle (based at Westcliff Community Centre) on 07900 875031, Anna (based at MIND) 07762 483398

Referrers can access the referral form here


Volunteering for First Steps Forward

Would you like to help a young family to tackle the barriers and inequalities in the most practical way for both families and volunteers, ensuring both parties feel safe and confident in the support being provided.


This will include:

  • In the home

  • Accompanying the parents or children to a nursery or school, community activity, training, or treatment appointment

  • An alternative setting e.g. Family and Wellbeing Hub, delivery partners venue, park or Café etc.

Volunteers will be positive, non-judgemental, and respectful and emphasise the positive aspects of family life.

Support will focus on:

  • developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and an understanding can be developed.

  • encouraging parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their own children

  • encouraging families to widen their network of relationships and to effectively use the support and services available in the community.


Support for Volunteers

Volunteers will receive regular support sessions with the FSF Coordinators, who will carefully match volunteers with families to ensure that the relationship has the best chance of being mutual.

A full entry training programme will be provided, followed by regular on-going development training sessions. Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed regularly.

Volunteering in this role will benefit volunteers as well as the families they support in the following ways:

  • feeling you are making a positive life changing difference to children and their families, by breaking the cycle that adversity can bring and,

  • a range of transferable professional skills which can support further career pathways for volunteers who wish to pursue a professional career, including:

             -  Social work

             -  Health and social care

             -  Counselling.


Download a full volunteer role description here and registration form here, or call 01724 845155 option 7 for more information. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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