At HENRY we are passionate about babies and young children getting the best possible start in life. This means supporting the whole family to make positive lifestyle changes, creating healthier and happier home environments, and building healthier communities.
Over the past 10 years we have supported thousands of families to transform family life for the better in all sorts of ways – including improved nutrition, emotional wellbeing, parenting skills, breastfeeding, and getting more active. We have worked with over 10,000 health and early years practitioners and collaborated with NHS trusts, local authorities, and many other partners.
Laying the foundations for a brighter future
The earliest years of life have a profound bearing on life chances and on physical and emotional health throughout childhood and beyond. Parents want the best for their children, but it isn’t always easy for parents to know what ‘best’ is in the early years, or to change entrenched family habits to provide a healthier home environment.
HENRY provides a wide range of support for families in the early years including workshops, programmes, resources and online help. All of our support for families is underpinned by the HENRY approach to supporting behaviour change which helps parents gain the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to help the whole family adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle and to give their children a great start in life.
We also work with health and early years professionals, helping them develop the skills to support families make real and lasting changes that will help the whole family have a brighter future.
We view ‘a healthy start’ in its broadest possible sense, adopting a holistic approach which focuses on the things that have a real impact in later life. This includes supporting breastfeeding, improving nutrition, emotional wellbeing, parenting skills, healthy nutrition, oral health and a more active lifestyle. By focusing on these elements we can reduce the risk of tooth decay, obesity and associated diseases (such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease), as well as improve school readiness and future life chances.
What is consistent across all the issues we address is the way we work with families – working in partnership with parents as they are the experts on their own lives and families. We never tell families what to do – no one likes to be told, and telling simply doesn’t work. Instead, we support parents to identify the things they are doing well and the things they would like to change, helping them build on strengths and decide on their own strategies to achieve their goals.
HENRY family support works – 97% of families who join a HENRY family programme are leading a healthier lifestyle by the programme's end. Independent academic evaluation has shown that families make long term lifestyle changes, and parents themselves often describe our support as ‘life-changing’. One mum said “We have become closer. We listen and interact more and sit together at mealtimes."
I honestly don’t know where we’d be without HENRY. We are all so much happier and healthier, and we’re looking forward to our lives together as a family
Mother of two young children
Help us to support vulnerable families
HENRY is underpinned by the best available evidence and rigorous evaluation