Service Spotlight: Healthy Start

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in UK shops and your benefit will be added onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • infant formula milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables and
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses

You can also use your card to collect Healthy Start Maternal vitamins (these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding) and Healthy Start vitamin drops for babies and young children (these are suitable from birth to 4 years old).

Who can access the service?

The Healthy Start scheme is open to children under the age of 4, and women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant. In order to qualify, you must be receiving any of the following:

  • You, your partner, or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week
  • Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
  • Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)

You will also be eligible for Healthy Start vouchers if:

  • You’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
  • You claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant

Please apply online by clicking the following link 

If you have any questions about this service, please feel free to check out our FAQ page

Service Spotlight: Room Hire

Within the Fresh Futures Charity’s buildings, right in the centre of Huddersfield and Batley, are fully equipped rooms and event spaces that are available for rent, whether you need it for an afternoon, or a year!

  • Meeting Rooms: Ideal for a one-off meeting or event, rent a room for a half or full day.
  • Offices: Perfect if you want your own private office space for you, your team, or a whole company, in the heart of town.
  • Event Space: We have several event spaces to cater to different sizes and event types, such as community clubs, parties, job fayres, training days, and much more! Catering and equipment available.
  • Our rates are very competitive, and 100% of the proceeds from all room rentals goes straight into the charity’s pot, to support even more members of the local community.

‘KYA loves being based in Brian Jackson House alongside other key VCS organisations. Our space is perfect and we are big fans of the new café on the ground floor. Our work sits nicely alongside the Vision and Aims of Yorkshire Children’s Centre, which makes them more of a friend than a landlord!’ KYA – Tenant at Brian Jackson House.

For more information on YCC’s room hire please click here, email [email protected] or call 01484 519988.

Service Spotlight: Accident Prevention eLearning

This free training course is designed to raise the awareness of parents, carers, and practitioners of the causes of childhood accidents, by teaching adults how to reduce risks and keep children safe.

Unintentional childhood injury results in over 2 million visits to A&E in the UK and over half of these injuries occur in the home. On average 62 children under the age of five died as a result of an accident and over 76,000 under the age of 14 are admitted for treatment, of which over 40% are under 5 years of age.

This e-learning course enables parents, carers and practitioners to:

  • Identify risks in the home and elsewhere that are the common causes of childhood accidents
  • Describe steps you are able to take in order to reduce the risk and prevent childhood accidents
  • To be confident in making changes or supporting families to make changes, to keep children safer.

The training takes approximately 30 – 40 minutes to complete. On completion you will receive a certificate.

If you are a parent or carer of a young child or children or a professional working with/supporting young children, we strongly advise you to complete this training to develop your knowledge on child accident prevention. This will enable you to go on to make a difference in reducing childhood accidents in Kirklees.

Anyone with an interest in developing their knowledge on child accident prevention. There is no eligibility criteria for accessing this training.

Service Spotlight: Community Anchor

Supporting Local Groups to Make Great Things Happen

The Community Anchor Service exists to provide support to local groups and provisions in line with community needs in Batley and Spen. Working alongside local Primary Care Networks and the local authority, we identify needs, create provisions to tackle needs, and nurture existing groups and provisions to support with the identified needs. 

Our network of community organisations and mutual aid groups are working with us and our partners from the local authority, health, and third sector organisations to directly focus on how we can better support our local communities. Collectively, we are working to build stronger and supportive communities and to ensure the third sector is better connected and influenced by:

  • Building a picture of local activity
  • Contributing to and supporting the development of local plans
  • Encouraging third sector involvement and working with local partners to identify and develop community-based solutions
  • Supporting the development of social prescribing

As well as forming the partner network forum, Our Community Forum, we have several exciting projects which include: 

  • Community Champions 
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Mental Health First Aid

This is a free service available to any local group or service across Batley and Spen. Contact the team on [email protected] or 07849 398 734 and one of our Community Anchors will be able to assist you.

Service Spotlight: Child Contact

Fresh Futures think of contact as ‘time for children’ with an emphasis on the quality of that time. The focus should be on meeting the needs of the child as best as possible to ensure their time spent with parents or carers is of value to them.

About Child Contact

This service is for parents, grandparents or other family members who no longer live with their children. We provide a range of toys and games to enable contact to be a positive experience in a safe and secure environment. Child Contact centres can help when there are safety considerations or help increase trust and reliability between parents and carers. We can assist parents or carers who need time to agree alternative plans, or when relationships need support to develop, to benefit the child.

How to access the service

Arrangements are by referral, which can be made by a social worker, solicitor, family mediator, CAFCASS Family Court Advisor or another appropriate professional. We can also accept self-referrals from parents or family members that do not have legal representation, subject to safeguarding checks, and they will be accepted at the discretion of the contact centre co-ordinator.

Once a referral is accepted, we will arrange payment of the referral fee, then each adult party will be booked in for an introductory meeting or visit with a contact worker. Following completion of introductory meetings, and once we are satisfied that it is appropriate to commence contact, we aim to arrange the first session at the first available opportunity.

To learn more about the Contact Centres at Fresh Futures please click here, email [email protected] or call 01484 519988.

Service Spotlight: Community Champions

What are Community Champions and what do they do?

Fresh Futures recently secured funding through the Starting Well Initiative to improve Healthy Start engagement and uptake within the more deprived areas of Kirklees.

Using Community Champions, Fresh Futures now offers wider support to external organisations and community groups that are already working with the most in need families to help them access the Healthy Start Scheme and its benefits, including free vitamin supplements.

Fresh Futures employ three Community Champions, two covering the North of Kirklees and one covering the South. They work on a sessional basis to ensure flexibility to attend sessions and events.

Through this new approach we have:

  • Created a separate, more efficient pathway for targeted families to access the Healthy Start Scheme.
  • Our champions provide practical support such as enrolling families on to the scheme.
  • Improved the accessibility of vitamins by supplying free maternal and child supplements to community partners and volunteers to distribute locally to targeted families, at settings where they are already attending.
  • Improved our reach into BAME and marginalised communities, to increase uptake of Healthy Start and other health services by those families most in need.
  • 2 of our champions are bilingual.

For more information about the Healthy Start Scheme please visit Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

To speak to Fresh Futures about our Community Champions please email [email protected] or call 01484 415465

Service Spotlight: Brian Jackson College

Did you know that Fresh Futures owns and manages not one, but TWO alternative provision colleges?

The Brian Jackson Colleges are ‘alternative provisions’ providing vocational and core subject education for students aged 13-16, who have been excluded or are looking at permanent exclusion from a mainstream school. The colleges, based at Huddersfield and Heckmondwike, support students in many ways. Here are just a few….

At Brian Jackson College, we:

  • Teach core subjects in preparation for GCSE examinations,
  • Teach a large variety of vocational subjects, such as hairdressing, food tech and motor vehicle courses – which support pupils into ‘positive destinations’, such as employment or apprenticeships after graduation,
  • Support all pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties by working with SENCOs (Special Educational Needs Coordinators) and Nurture Managers,
  • Work together with each pupil to create a bespoke EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) whenever required.
  • Deliver Key Worker sessions where students learn about conflict resolution, social media awareness and dealing with emotions.
  • Prepare pupils for life after Brian Jackson College, including the accredited Financial Education Award that helps pupils plan to support themselves and live independently in the future.
  • Make sure that the pupils have FUN and access to the normal experiences that teenagers should have – such as fitness coaching sessions, ice cream days, allotment visits, sports days, and MUCH MORE!!!

Leadership Team Coordinator, Samantha Latchayya, told us: “Brian Jackson College isn’t just a safe space for pupils to learn; it offers a new opportunity for these students who often feel let down by mainstream education, to discover their strengths, pursue their passions, and become successful adults. The work that the colleges do is simply inspiring!“.

Our most recent Ofsted report in March 2019 stated that ‘The school’s ethos and culture promotes all aspects of pupils’ welfare. Staff help pupils with previously unsuccessful experiences of school to overcome the barriers that exist and re-engage well with education. One pupil said, ‘They give us a future.’

Jacqui Green, BJC Headteacher

Brian Jackson College shares the same mission as all of the Fresh Futures departments, to IMPROVE LIVES AND INSPIRE CHANGE. And boy do they deliver! Check out the 3 minute video below to gain a greater insight into Brian Jackson College…

Watch our short video to learn all about YCC’s Brian Jackson College!

Did you know that Brian Jackson College is currently recruiting? Click HERE to view the college’s current vacancies and join an incredible team of people!

Learn more about the colleges by visiting their website:

#WeAreFresh Futures #BrianJacksonCollege

Service Spotlight: Safety In The Home

Supporting families in reducing preventable home accidents through education and the provision and installation of home safety equipment.

This month we are taking a look into what YCC’s Thriving Kirklees department have to offer to make your home safe for young children.

The aim of YCC’s Safety in the Home service is to reduce the risk and prevent childhood accidents in the home by supplying and fitting home safety equipment into the property of eligible families.

This can include safety gates, fire guards, bathmats, cupboard locks, corner cushions and cord winders. 

We focus on the TOP 5 most common childhood accidents that occur in the home such as, slips, trips and falls, burns and scalds, poisoning, fire and strangulation. Our fitters provide families with information & advice on how to reduce these risks.

As part of this service, Fresh Futures are also working in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue service to ensure every eligible family also receives a free home fire safety check, which can result in new smoke detectors being fitted.

Service Spotlight: National Healthy Start

Did you know that if you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk?

“Fresh Futures have been keeping in regular contact with me and have helped me get additional support – I signed up to the Healthy Start scheme and it has made a huge difference. I just wanted to say, you’re doing a great job… You care, and in these times and previously that means the world.”

National Healthy Start Service User
YCC’s National Healthy Start is a service offered in Partnership with Thriving Kirklees, led by Katie Lockwood – 0-19 Health & Wellbeing Service Manager ([email protected])

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in UK shops. Your benefit will be added onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • infant formula milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables and
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses

You can also use your card to collect:

Healthy Start Maternal vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Healthy Start vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

What you could get

  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4
  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week

Your money will stop when your child is 4, or if you no longer receive benefits.

Using your card

You’ll receive your card by post. It’ll come with your first payment on it. Money will be automatically added to your card every 4 weeks. Before you use your card, you need to activate it before you use it in a shop.

To activate your card, get your PIN, hear your balance, or to report your card as lost, damaged, or stolen, you can contact National Healthy Start on 0300 330 2090. This phone line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you require an interpreter, please call 0300 330 7010 or email [email protected] 

You will need your: 

  • card
  • date of birth
  • client ID (located at the top of the letter that came with your card)

Service Spotlight: Community Friends

About Community Friends:

  • The service is available to adults over the age of 18 who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness.
  • Adults can be referred by a professional, family or self-refer. 
  • The aim of the service is to encourage people to be more socially active and to build stronger relationships 
  • Community Connections volunteers visit / telephone people weekly.
  • Our volunteers try to encourage service users to be more socially/physically active where possible.
  • Our Volunteers undergo training and are DBS checked.

We’re always in need of more volunteers! If you’re a good listener, enjoy chatting, and have a spare hour in the week, please get in touch. Volunteering is extremely rewarding and makes a huge difference.

Who can access this service?

Adults over the age of 18 who may be experiencing isolation or loneliness can access these services free of charge.

How to access this service:

If you would like to access this service, either for yourself or a friend or family member, simply get in touch with us using the below contact details, and we will send you any relevant application forms. 

Our dedicated team will then seek to match the individual with a suitable volunteer as quickly as possible. This can take up to four weeks, depending on the availability of our volunteers.


Please note that these services are provided completely free of charge. 

Contact Details

If you have any questions about this service, please feel free to check out our FAQ page, or contact us using the below information.

Please email [email protected], or call 01484 415465 / 07458 055 044

The advice I would give to someone thinking about volunteering is, “DO IT!!!”. It benefits in more ways than one. As much as it helped me, I also knew I was helping someone else at the same time.

Laura Cumiskey, Community Friend Volunteer

“Having my volunteer befriender has helped me so much. We go for a walk for a couple of hours every Sunday. We have a really good chat as we are walking, it’s great. I have become fitter since I met my volunteer which has helped me in other ways. I feel happier. My befriender is brilliant, he really is a great guy. ”

Community Friend Service User.