Facilitator and parent HENRY Family programme

The HENRY approach

HENRY adopts a unique and highly effective way of working with parents which supports them to change family lifestyle habits and behaviours and provide a healthy start in life for their children – we call this ‘the HENRY approach’.

The proven HENRY approach (Bridge & Willis, 2019) was developed in response to an identified gap for a practical intervention that would deliver the key evidence-based messages contained in Tackling obesity through the healthy child programme – a framework for action.

Throughout our service offer – evidence-based interventions, practitioner training, and community volunteer initiatives – the HENRY approach focuses on both ‘message’ and ‘messenger’ to create the conditions for change and to support families to adopt healthier lifestyles. This approach integrates evidence-based behaviour change models, including the Family Partnership Model, motivational interviewing and solution-focused support with information about a healthy start (nutrition, activity, etc) that is consistent with national guidance.

HENRY approach table

Research shows that information alone is unlikely to achieve sustained lifestyle change. The HENRY approach enables practitioners to create the conditions for change (parental confidence and desire to make changes) where parents can put the messages (information about nutrition, activity, etc) into practice as part of everyday life.

Support from HENRY (or HENRY-trained practitioners/volunteers) explicitly builds family resilience through a strengths-based, solution-focused partnership approach that supports families to take control of their own lives, identify their own lifestyle goals and plan to achieve them in a way that will work for their family. Families are then able to make and sustain lifestyle changes, contributing to a healthier community culture. Robust independent evaluation of our family support published in peer-reviewed journals shows that families make statistically significant positive improvements to the whole family’s lifestyle which – crucially – are sustained at follow-up. See our evidence base.

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Find out more about the HENRY approach to supporting a great start in life, how we work, how we work, what we do and why. 

Angie Prysor-Jones
Contact us

If you'd like to discuss how HENRY can best support you, contact: 01865 302973 |

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A commissioner guide to HENRY family support services, training and delivery models

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Effective family support

Our innovative and flexible range of family support services

Parents doing group work
Practitioner training

Our evidence-based training for practitioners