Baby crawling

Best Start with HENRY in Waltham Forest

UPDATE: Face-to-face interactions are being halted in the short term in response to COVID-19. We continue to provide a remote service and are in contact with Waltham Forest families via phone, email and videocalls.

HENRY is working in partnership with London Borough of Waltham Forest, Lloyd Park Children’s Charity and the local NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the Best Start service which aims to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for families with children aged 0-5 years.

The Best Start team is working with other local practitioners to:

  • Deliver universal and universal plus early intervention and prevention in key areas of child health in order to improve health outcomes, child development, school readiness, and to improve overall life chances and reduce inequalities.
  • Increase knowledge and access to timely support and advice for families in key areas of health and development (infant feeding, dietetics, speech & language and oral health)
  • Increase the awareness of health issues and expertise across universal early education providers - to help them tackle common health issues with families through early intervention and prevention.
  • Increase community engagement on health issues by recruiting and developing parent volunteers and supporting parents with skills and tools to give their children the best possible start in life.
  • Improve capture of local data around health and health inequalities in order to inform local strategies and commissioning.
  • Bring about a reduction in referrals to mainstream services (due to early intervention and prevention)


In addition to direct support to families the Best Start service is delivering:

  • HENRY practitioner training for Children & Family Centre staff, health visitors and private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nursery settings
  • Infant feeding training to support UNICEF Babyfriendly accreditation in Children & Family Centres
  • Training for Children & Family Centre staff in understanding speech & language development, and incorporating this knowledge into all sessions
  • Additional practitioner training and workshops for health visitors, school nurses, school welfare officers and foster parents

Healthy Weight and Oral Health champions in Children & Family Centres and PVI settings have been trained and are leading on best practice within their settings. In Children & Family Centres this includes running themed sessions around starting solids, Fussy Eating, and Cook & Eat sessions. The Best Start service is developing and embedding healthy weight and oral health frameworks within settings.

Contact us

For more information please contact the Waltham Forest Best Start team on 020 8496 5223
or email


London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) -

Lloyd Park Children's Charity -

North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) -

Waltham Forest logos
Parents and staff at Waltham Forest open day
HENRY in Waltham Forest

Supporting families to provide the best and healthiest start in life for their children

children and parents playing with parachute
How HENRY supports a healthy start

HENRY adopts a unique and holistic approach to working with families

youngn children enjoying fresh fruit
Community engagement & development

Drawing on and building the capacity of local communities to support ongoing change