Our Work

Gateway Family Services is a Community Interest Company. It was established in 2006 and operates in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

Our current services cover areas like employment training, workplace wellbeing and weight management. The common thread running through all the services we have delivered over the years is “people who need help” and all of the areas we cover have a direct impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

A non-profit organisation, Gateway uses any surplus to invest in the education, employment, health and wellbeing of the communities we work with.

Current services

Health and Wellbeing is at the heart of our work at Gateway Family Services.

Our Solihull Lighten Up call centre staff support people who are managing their weight through external weight loss and weight management programmes. They offer extra telephone support, which has been found to motivate people to make further progress.

Healthy Futures is a social prescribing service supporting people with a broad range of social needs. GPs can refer anyone that needs non-medical help, so that includes people who have issues around housing, alcohol, finances, benefits, social isolation, and much more. In early 2017, a formal evaluation by Mott Macdonald of the Healthy Futures pilot scheme found it to be a cost-effective way to reduce the time people spent with their GP (when a social intervention was more appropriate), as well as significantly increasing people’s self-reliance and self-care. Despite a lack of external funding, we felt the need for this service was so great, we relaunched it at the beginning of 2018 using our own reserves.

For businesses, we’ve harnessed over a decade of Health Trainer service delivery to create a series of Workplace Wellbeing packages. Educating and supporting staff to actively manage their wellbeing has been shown to reduce absences and sickness levels, and to improve staff retention, motivation and productivity, so we’re more than happy to talk to employers about workplace health checks. Our experienced Health Facilitators can offer individual one-to-one support, group sessions and team workshops for organisations and companies of all sizes. Call Keith or Jemma on 0121 456 7820 to find out more.

In spring 2018 Gateway was chosen to deliver Birmingham and Solihull’s Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP), a team of people who provide feedback about their local maternity system. The panel include maternity professionals (like midwives and doctors) and, importantly, women and family members who have direct personal experience of the service.

Straight Talking recruits and trains Peer Educators: teenage mothers and young fathers who go into schools to educate young people about early parenthood, healthy relationships, child sexual exploitation and sexting, enabling them to make responsible life choices. Gateway delivers the Peer Educators programme in schools across the West Midlands, in partnership with London charity Straight Talking.

We also have a training department called EAST (Employment, Access, Skills and Training). Through this, we run our in-house training programme and all the training we are commissioned to deliver externally for organisations and companies, including RSPH and City & Guilds certification. Click here for a list of Health and Wellbeing courses we offer.

From years of providing outreach services we have developed our own training packages to equip our staff with the skills and knowledge they need – including topics such as Lone Working and Boundaries & Confidentiality – and we can also be commissioned to deliver these for other organisations. We also remain providers of the nationally recognised Health Trainer qualification. For further details, contact Jo Harper.

Former services

Since 2006 we have delivered a wide variety of services. We’re always happy to talk about the things we’ve done, and share what we’ve learnt, and we continue to try and secure funds to re-establish those services that have been shown to be particularly valuable.

Our Pregnancy Outreach Worker Service (POWS) was set up in 2006 as one of a range of interventions commissioned in response to the Floor Target Action Plan (FTAP) for Infant Mortality. POWS was a unique service providing psycho-social support to women with complex needs.

Along with ensuring engagement with maternity services, pre-natal health, smoking cessation and encouraging breastfeeding, POWS also tackled substance misuse, domestic abuse, safeguarding, mental ill health, housing and homelessness and the surrounding issues linked to financial hardship.

In January 2018 POWS was consumed into Birmingham’s new Early Years Health and Wellbeing service, and our Pregnancy Outreach Workers were transferred to new roles with Barnardo’s, Spurgeons Children’s Charity, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Springfield Project.

Gateway Health Trainers ended in September 2017. It offered one-to-one support and advice to people who want to make lifestyle changes (eg to increase activity, eat a healthier diet, stop smoking or cut down on alcohol), helping them to set their own behavioural goals and to increase confidence and resilience.

From October 2015 until May 2018 we delivered Pre-Diabetes Courses across South Birmingham. People whose blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal may be at risk of Type 2 diabetes, so this course provided information and support, helping people to delay — or even prevent — the onset of the disease. Results from people who participated in a Gateway Pre-Diabetes course showed impressive retention rates and life-changing outcomes.

Shared learning from the Birmingham Lighten Up service, which included Maternal Lighten Up, shaped and influenced NICE Guidance PH53 Weight Management: Lifestyle Service for overweight and obese adults.

Gateway Family Services understands how health and social care systems work. We work in partnership with the NHS and Local Authorities to support their strategic decisions, whilst empowering people in the community to break the social, cultural and economic barriers that can cause deprivation.

The links between economic health and physical health are inescapable. Our creative approach changes lives by improving health, life skills and economic prospects at the same time.