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Child Health and Wellbeing Network

What we are doing

Our network brings together people from all sectors across the region, such as health, education, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector, to work with children, young people and their families to make sure our work is more able to support them and have a positive impact.

We are proud to be part of a small but growing network in the North East and North Cumbria that plans to make a real difference to children’s services.

We believe all children and young people should be given the opportunity to flourish and reach their potential, and be advantaged by organisations working together.


For more information or to join our network, which is open to anyone in the child health and wellbeing system, please join here or email: England.northernchildnetwork@nhs.net

Information and resources

  • Increase our understanding of and reduce barriers to engaging in health from a poverty perspective.
  • Improve healthy life expectancy of children with additional needs and vulnerability.
  • Ensure our work is influenced and driven by our young people.
  • Support children to have the best start in life.
  • Positively engage with children and young people to influence feedback on the services they use.
  • Reduce asthma attendances in A&E and share best practice to improve outcomes across the region.

We place children, young people and their families at the heart of our work making sure their voice is heard and meaningfully considered throughout our journey.

See our system priorities here

Read our strategy here

Our work plan is here

Read our impact report here

The COVID-19 response has caused major disruption in health services, including child health services. This disruption has led to major changes in the delivery of services and ways of operating.

This project aimed to understand the impact of these changes on child health service delivery in the North of Scotland and the North East and North Cumbria from the perspectives of a range of child healthcare providers.

Change can offer opportunities as well as challenges; understanding what changes benefit or hinder the delivery of child health services, and what innovations can be usefully retained, is vital in order to optimise children and young people’s health and wellbeing.

You can read the report here.

The network has commissioned a resource which is freely available for all professionals and young people to use. It is a collection of data analysis and resource links to demonstrate the facts of life for children and young people growing up in the North East and North Cumbria.

This is the first publication of all 8 chapters which cover a range of issues that impact on children and young people as they grow up including poverty, illness, mental health, education and attainment. It is anticipated that further versions may be developed from this.

You can download the full report here.

You can view each chapter here.

Worried about a poorly child?

Being a parent is rarely an easy job but when your child is sick it can be extremely worrying. The Little Orange Book helps parents and carers of children under five years with practical information about common childhood conditions.

It’s a great resource and covers everything from common minor ailments like teething, constipation and colds, through to more serious conditions like urinary tract infections, wheezy chests and meningitis. A traffic light system helps parents and carers decide what action to take when their child is sick suggesting appropriate health services if further help or support is needed.

This book was produced by Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group with help from GPs, health visitors, practice managers and staff, pharmacists, paediatricians, children’s nurses and parents and carers. 

View The Little Orange Book here

For more information or to join our network, which is open to anyone in the child health and wellbeing system, please join here or email: England.northernchildnetwork@nhs.net

The Network Team

Dr Mike McKean – Clinical Lead
Heather Corlett – Programme Lead
Louise Dauncey – Network Delivery Manager
Laura Cassidy – Network Delivery Manager
Jen Hicken – Network Delivery Manager
Emilia Soulsby – Network Development Manager
Anne Jones – Senior Administration Support (Data and Digital)
Karen Pellegrino – Business Support Officer
Faye Falcus – Digital Marketing Apprentice

Follow us on Twitter: @EveryChildNENC

South Tees Arts Project (STAR) is delighted to announce that its initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children in South Tees has been shortlisted for ‘Most Impactful Project Addressing Health Inequalities’ at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2022, recognising their outstanding contribution to healthcare – in what has been an exceptional and challenging period across the sector.

STAR is an innovative locality-based dance and health programme which aims to increase access to the arts for children living in deprived areas of South Tees to improve their health and wellbeing. The project utilises the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of taking part in dance activities, supporting participants through creative and engaging ways to express themselves and develop self-awareness, identity, and social and emotional learning skills. The initiative adopts a school and family-based approach, maximising positive outcomes for children, schools and families.

The collaborative project was initiated by the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network and was developed in conjunction with Northern Ballet. The programme is delivered by TIN Arts, an inclusive dance organisation based in Durham, supported by multiple key regional partners, including local primary schools, academic researchers, family support organisation Children North East, and the South Tees public health team.

The winners of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2022 will be announced at a ceremony in London on 24th March.

For more information relating to South Tees Arts Project, please contact Martin Wilson, Executive Director, TIN Arts via martin@tinarts.co.uk.  To read more about STAR and the funders behind the project visit https://www.tinarts.co.uk/current-projects/star/

For more information about the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network, please contact Heather Corlett, Programme Lead for Child Health and Wellbeing via hcorlett@nhs.net

Tackling Inequalities in children

Thanks to NHS Charities Together and County Durham & Darlington FT Charity for supporting us with funding of £242,650.00 towards this project. Also thanks to Newcastle Hospitals Charity and County Durham Community Foundation for their support through the Community Partnership Grants Programme (North East and North Cumbria). 

This generous funding will enable our unique partnership between the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network (CHWN), NE Youth, Children North East and the collaboration STAR (South Tees ARts) Project led by TIN Arts. This programme is specifically designed to tackle inequalities for children across the region by:

  • Embedding Youth Mental Health First Aid skills to those most in need through VCSE organisations working in local communities.
  • Delivering a collaborative arts intervention with wrap around support for young people and families attending primary schools in our most deprived neighbourhoods
  • Tackling barriers that prevent access to health care caused through financial struggles and the impact on mental health in young people
  • Working with an apprentice to ensure we engage effectively through social media with our communities

Driven by CHWN, our organisations work in partnership across sector boundaries, combining skills knowledge and expertise to tackle health inequalities, limiting the collateral damage that Covid-19 has caused. CHWN membership across Health, Education, VCSE and Social Care, coupled with a robust children and young people voice, defined the most urgent areas of support post pandemic; these are Poverty, Mental Health, Family Support and Communication. TIC (Tackling Inequalities for Children) focuses on these ‘given’ areas of need.

This project is supported by a Marketing and Communications Apprentice, based within NE Youth, who will work closely with teams, delivering health promotion opportunities to children and young people regionally in an accessible and relevant format.

The two core areas that this project will deliver:

  1. A regionwide focus on systemic health inequalities
  2. An innovative cross sector project offering wrap around delivery within a defined locality.

Regionwide Tackling Inequalities Focus

CHWN will provide a train the trainer programme (allocated to our 4 geographical areas: Durham, North Cumbria, Northumberland and Tees Valley) embedding Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) skills into communities that need it most. Children NE will have a specific focus on tackling barriers to engagement within health settings. This innovative, newly designed and piloted, ‘Poverty Proofing© Health Settings’, includes powerful consultation with those living in poverty, to understand the wide and varied barriers caused through financial struggles, on access to health provision, leading to co-produced solutions and systemic change. Delivery will include an offer of training for health setting and partner organisation staff on mental health first aid and the impacts of poverty.

Tackling Inequalities within a defined locality

TIN Arts will lead in Tees Valley, to undertake and test a ‘deep dive’ initiative centred around an arts-based intervention (South Tees ARts Project – STAR) working with young people and families connected to schools in two severely deprived neighbourhoods, utilising further complimentary approaches including social prescribing, family support interventions, YMHFA and Poverty Proofing. This unique collaborative programme will identify new ways of combatting the negative impacts of mental health by tackling the consequences of poverty, providing family support utilising community assets and delivering arts based innovation to support a community to thrive, whilst simultaneously generating region wide learning that can be replicated. The pictures in this article share some of the great work already happening a part of the project!

We look forward to sharing updates as this work progresses. Find out more and link to partner websites through the links and emails below:


Interactive film project

Working with William Howard School, and local film makers Trylife, we’ve created an interactive film for young people focusing on issues around teenage pregnancy and mental health.  The film involves local young people and explores a range of issues. You can view Jessica's story here.

The network was also successful in a Applied Research Collaborative Bid led by Sunderland University which will look closely at the potential behavioural impact on this work.

An evaluation study into the effectiveness of this innovative style of filming making is being undertaken and will ready soon – please take a look at the executive summary report.

Poverty proofing report

We commissioned a report into the financial barriers that exist for children and young people to attend health settings across our region.

Many of the key themes are inter-related and, taking into consideration the range of inequalities those living in poverty experience, means that those on low incomes are more likely to experience more barriers.

This report lays bare the realities facing our most vulnerable families when it comes to accessing healthcare, and we hope to address the issues and implement the recommendations as the project moves forward.

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