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Minister visits Powys projects that support children's mental health

Image of Minister with a mum and baby

6 December 2023

Image of Minister with a mum and baby
Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle speaks with families and young people in Newtown about early help and enhanced support to children and young people.

The Deputy Minister visited Newtown last week to shine a light on some positive examples of how the NYTH / NEST framework is being rolled out across the county. NYTH / NEST is a new national planning tool being introduced across Powys that can help services put mental health and wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.

The approach in Powys is being led by the Regional Partnership Board's Start Well Partnership to improve the way they collectively plan and deliver services for babies, children, young people, and their families to make sure they feel supported and get the right help when needed.

The Minister spoke with families and practitioners at the Newtown Integrated Family Centre to find out about the support they receive and how they work together. The centre is a "one stop shop" providing services and support to local children, young people and their families.

The centre provides activities such as parent and toddler groups, baby massage, information and advice, Incredible Years Parenting Training programmes, health advice, family support and counselling.

The Minister went on to meet with Junior Start Well Board members to talk about their work and how they have helped to set up the Youth Café in Newtown. The café takes place the last Thursday of the month at Hafan Yr Afon. It came about in response to the Junior Start Well Board's consultation with young people across the county.

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle said: "It was fantastic to meet with young people and families to hear firsthand how they are benefiting from the Newtown Family Centre and youth café. These are fantastic facilities which are making a real difference to communities in Powys, by prioritising mental health and wellbeing, and helping people to get the help and support they need.

"This visit, and particularly the brilliant work of the Junior Start Well Board, highlighted how the NYTH / NEST Framework is working in practice to put the voice of users at the forefront of services to ensure they provide the right help at the right time and in a way that is right for the individual."

Powys Regional Partnership Board's Chair, Kirsty Williams said: "I am pleased that the Deputy Minister was able to chat to families and young people about their involvement to help us improve how we work together on health, care, and wellbeing.

"It gave us the opportunity to showcase some of the excellent support work that is already taking place across the region and to talk about our NYTH / NEST plans going forward."

Junior Start Well Board Member Ffion says: "We are all passionate about the Youth Café project. It was created to be a safe space where young people can go for a free drink and low-cost food to just sit and talk to friends or use as a quiet space for homework or revision if there is nowhere suitable at home.

"We are trying to create links with local services to provide a relaxing atmosphere for young people to access support services for emotional wellbeing if it is needed."

Powys County Council's Cabinet Member for Future Generations, Cllr Sandra Davies said: "We were delighted to welcome the Deputy Minister to the Family Centre and Youth Café. The family centre, in the heart of the community is enabling children, young people and their families to access services in one place. It's good to see these early help services all working together to meet families' needs."