Families across the East Riding can be assured of gold-standard service after the council's children's centres were awarded the prestigious UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, Achieving Sustainability award for the fourth consecutive year.
The baby friendly initiative is a global programme between the World Health Organisation and UNICEF and is aimed at providing parents and families with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby as well as help to feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and nutrition.
Working in partnership with integrated specialist public health nurses from Humber NHS Teaching Foundation Trust, staff from the 18 council-run children's centres ensured that despite the COVID-19 lockdown, expectant mothers and parents with babies were still able to access the help and support they needed.
Services including baby massage classes, breastfeeding cafes, antenatal groups and one-to-one support were all held virtually and UNICEF recognised that services hadn't just been maintained during the pandemic but had progressed.
Councillor Victoria Aitken, portfolio holder for children and young people's education, health and wellbeing said: "This is an outstanding achievement for our children's centres, and our health colleagues, that despite the challenges of the pandemic they were still there to provide the help and support for expectant parents and those with newborns."
Louise Shafei, infant feeding lead for Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Maintaining the UNICEF UK BFI gold award is an amazing achievement and truly demonstrates the dedication and commitment from the integrated public health nursing services (ISPHNS) and our children centre colleagues.
"This is a celebration of excellent practice in infant feeding support and highlights the important role that services have played during the pandemic in keeping mothers, babies and families safe and in nurturing the development of parent-infant relationships".
* For more information about support with feeding and caring for your baby go to https://humberisphn.nhs.uk/east-yorkshire-breastfeeding-support/
For more information about the services offered or to find the nearest children's centre go to https://www.eastriding.gov.uk/living/children-and-families/childrens-centres/ or follow on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/erchildrenscentres