The story so far

Timeline of activities


We started with a consultation in October 2021 to ask families and young people in Retford whether they wanted a Family Hub, and if so, what services they’d prefer to access within a family hub network. View the full summary of feedback [PDF].

Family hub development

The family hub project team was busy behind the scenes developing the findings from the initial consultation and engaging partners to build the network and preparing for the first design site in Retford.

More consultation

The next two design sites were selected:  Hawtonville Children’s Centre in Newark and Summer House Children’s Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield. We carried out consultation with families, young people and partner organisations in those areas.

You can read more about the findings below:

Summer House feedback newsletter

Hawtonville feedback newsletter 


Shape your family hub event – phase 1

Three events were organised specifically in Retford (the first family hub design site area being developed) during September and October 2022.

These were aimed at young people, parents and partners to provide the opportunity for greater feedback and involvement to shape the development of family hubs for Retford.

View a summary of the key themes [PDF] that were highlighted as part of the discussions.

The virtual family hub

Crucial to family hubs will be the creation of the virtual family hub as this will provide an online tool for children and young people, families and local partners to access accurate and helpful information and support.

To prepare for the launch of the Retford design site in early 2023, the platform managed by the council is Notts Help Yourself.

A virtual family hub group was set-up to advance plans around the virtual hub. The group has representation from partners within the council, public health, family services, commissioning, young people and the Parents Voice.

In the first meeting, partners identified potential priority themes that the virtual family hub could help to provide better information, signposting and support around. The themes were combined with the feedback from the three earlier ‘shape your family hub’ events, to create a feedback exercise that would be shared with young people, parents and partners in Retford.

View the feedback exercise [PDF] and a summary of the family related themes [PDF] they would like to receive greater information and support to access through the Virtual Family Hub.

Family hub branding

Three designs concepts were developed by the council as possible options for the identity of family hubs.

It is important that children and young people, parents and partners have the opportunity to give their views about the final design. To support this, the designs are being shared at a range of meetings, local events and online through the council's survey system, for greater feedback.

Feedback from the consultation resulted in changes to the concept ideas and new designs were then developed.

The virtual family hub

We are creating opportunities to engage with children and young people, parents and partners to develop the following elements of the virtual family hub:

  • The look of the pages that young people, families and partners will be directed to including text, layout, images and buttons.
  • The kinds of information that would be displayed such as information based on ages, themes, types of services.
  • The types of key words that maybe used to search family related information.
  • The services that are listed on the front pages.

The shape your family hub questionnaire

Understanding what’s important to children and young people, parents and partners that could be addressed through the family hub network is central to our engagement plans. To reinforce this, we are expanding the questions that were used as part of the engagement process in phase 1.

The following questions are being asked:

  1. Name three good things about being a partner / young person / family in Retford
  2. Name one thing that could be improved
  3. How do you currently access information?

This questionnaire was also created online and findings used to determine what was needed to meet the needs of local families.

Easter egg-stravaganza event

Engagement with families and local professionals confirmed that neither group had a good understanding of which services were available. The Retford family hub partnership group decided to plan an event in the Easter holidays to further engage local families and include a wide range of services who would come along and promote the services they provide.

A range of partners from the council’s early years’ service attended the day to share information about the wide support available to families and young people in the area, including youth service, the health and wellbeing programme, children’s centre services, parental conflict resources, the council’s welfare rights team, parent and family services, kinship support, NSPCC, Women’s Aid, and the Maternity Voices Partnership.

The event received some positive media coverage and more information is available at  Easter egg-stravaganza for Retford family hub network | Nottinghamshire County Council


Family hub branding

Using the feedback from families and other stakeholders, we designed new concepts for the Nottinghamshire family hub identity. Consultation is underway and a final design will be confirmed in September 2023.

You have until the end of August 2023 to respond to the consultation about the branding. Family hubs - Nottinghamshire County Council - Citizen Space.


Retford family hub launch

The Retford family hub network was opened in April 2023 and is currently piloting different ways of working. Meanwhile the building now hosts a range of services including counselling for young people, groups for children with SEND, children’s centre service activities, maternity clinics and a lot more.

The work in Retford has also been published by the National Centre for Family Hubs as an example of good practice for its participation and co-production. You can read more about this here Participation case example: Nottinghamshire - National Centre for Family Hubs


We pledge to continue updating this page as we receive more feedback, so watch this space!

If you have any questions or require more information email us at

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