HEALTH Minister Andrea Leadsom praised the progress of Bradford’s family hubs during a recent visit to the city.

The MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, said the hubs and Start for Life programme have made ‘heartening’ progress during a visit to Farcliffe Family Hub.

The visit was arranged as an opportunity for Mrs Leadsom, who oversees public health, Start for Life and primary care nationally, to speak with the family hubs and Start for Life workforce, and hear from families about their experiences of the facilities and services available.

The district's hubs provide free support, advice, and services for families with children up to age 19 (25 with SEND) and at every stage of family life.

The Government-funded programme has a particular focus on support for families at the beginning of their child’s life.

This time - the start of pregnancy to the child’s second birthday - has been identified as one of the most important times for a child’s life-long health, wellbeing and development.

Through Government funding, the programme has increased the reach of some of the services that make the most difference to families during this period, so that more parents, carers, parents-to-be and children can receive support.

Mrs Leadsom said: “I’ve loved hearing the incredible feedback from parents and carers at the Family Hub.

"It was heart-warming to see the amazing progress since my last visit in Bradford in 2022.

"I’ve been really impressed to meet so many dedicated workforce and volunteers. Our family hubs and Start for Life investment is already making a difference and the fact that Bradford has been committed to the programme from the beginning really shines through.”

For more information on the offer visit the FYI (Families and Young Person’s Information) website at

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Family hubs were established in the Bradford district in 2019 to provide much-needed support for families and communities.

"The Start for Life funding has been a lifeline in sustaining these invaluable community spaces. I am delighted to see our district’s partnership and workforce so engaged in supporting families at our welcoming family hubs.”

Professor Mel Pickup, place lead for Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “Through the Start for Life funding we have been able to increase our offer of services in parent and carer mental health around the time of birth, infant mental health, and breastfeeding, supporting our Best 1,001 Days aim to improve experiences and outcomes of the pregnancy and birth journey across Bradford District and Craven.”