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BEST Start with HENRY (Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young)

Linden Children’s Centre,
86-94 Rectory Road,
N16 7SH
Telephone: 07519109876


Coronavirus service update

Face-to-face interactions are being not currently taking place due to COVID-19.

We can continue to provide a remote service and maintain contact with families in City & Hackney by phone and email.

We are now running our 8 Week Healthy Families Group Programmes and Workshops digitally. If you have children aged under 5 years who live or are registered with a GP in the City and Hackney see below for more information and how to sign up.

Who we are...

The Best Start with HENRY service in City & Hackney is supporting hundreds of local families with children aged 0-5 – from shortly after birth, right through to starting school – to provide a healthy, happy start in life for their children and the whole family.

Providing a healthy, happy start for young children helps lay the foundations for a brighter future where children flourish throughout childhood and beyond.

What we do... 

The Best Start with HENRY in City and Hackney provides FREE services that support healthy nutrition, active lifestyles, and parenting for families with children under 5 & includes:

  • Online group workshops on topics such as fussy eating and starting solids.
  • The Healthy Families 8-week digital group programme which supports families in achieving healthy lifestyle goals. Participating families receive a free HENRY toolkit.
  • Information on free vitamins for children under 4, pregnant women and new mums through the Healthy Start programme and eligibility for fruit, vegetable and milk vouchers.

Healthy Families programme

An 8-week programme for families with young children to help parents get their little one off to a great start. Take a look at our leaflet to find out more and about the digital programme here.

Joining the FREE programme is easy and can be accessed by a smart phone or a computer/laptop/tablet. You will also receive a HENRY toolkit with a heap of colourful resources to support you along the way.

The programme runs for 8 weeks, 1 hour each week with summer dates being announced soon. Please get in touch with us to find out about joining these or to be added to our waiting list.


We currently have 2 Online Workshops running with more to be announced soon:

Starting Solids: This workshop is designed to provide you will all of the information you need to help make mealtimes enjoyable, help your baby develop healthy eating habits and get them off to a great start in life. Suitable for families with babies 3-6 months

Fussy Eating: This workshop is designed to equip you with all the skills and strategies you need to help your little one gradually accept a wider range of healthy foods, helping to create more positive mealtimes for your family.


Healthy families 8-week group programme (online)

  • Tuesdays   10:30am-12pm        Week 1: 22nd September
  • Thursdays  1-2:30pm                  Week 1: 24th September

Online workshops (60-90mins)

Starting solids

First foods for parents/carers with 0-8 month olds:

  • Thurs 17th 1-2:30pm
  • Wed 23rd  1-2:30pm
  • Mon 28th 10-11:30am

Fussy or picky eating

  • Mon 14th 10-11:30am
  • Fri 25th     1-2:30pm
  • Wed 30th 10-11:30am

Portion sizes

  • Wed 16th 10-11:30am

Record Last Updated on: 09/09/2020

Time / Date Details

Time of day


Session Information

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
HENRY Groups are term time only

Other Details


Services are offered for FREE to families with under 5s
Families wishing to take part must be living in City or Hackney
or registered with a City and Hackney GP

Who is eligible?

1) Healthy Families workshops and groups are available for parents and carers with children aged under 5 years who live in or are registered with a GP in the City and Hackney.

2) Healthy Families workshops and groups run in several Children’s centres across Hackney and accepts referrals from parents or carers who are interested in developing their skills to provide a healthy lifestyle for their families or are concerned about their child’s weight, eating habits or physical activity levels.

3) HENRY accepts referrals from professionals working with under 5 year olds and their families who are concerned about a child’s weight or

•A child over two years of age with a BMI >91st centile

• A child whose weight is on or above the 99.6th centile

• A child whose weight has gone up by more than two centile lines

3) Healthy Start vitamins are available for all pregnant women, new mothers and children under 4 years living or with a GP in City or Hackney

Referral required?


Referral Details

Information for parents/carers...

Families can self-refer to HENRY. 

Find out how we can help you 

Phone: 07519 109876


Come and speak to us at your nearest Children’s Centre when our workshops or programmes are running.

Information for professionals...

If you are a professional and would like to refer a family to the 8 week Healthy Families group programme, please download and complete our referral form.

The Best Start with HENRY service is also providing practitioner training courses for health and early years practitioners across City & Hackney to help you provide effective support for a healthy start to the families you work with.

Contact us on to find our more, including the next available sessions. 

Find out how we can help you 

Phone: 07519 109876


What to do if you have a complaint

HENRY hopes and expects everyone participating in HENRY activities of any kind will have an enjoyable and enriching experience.

HENRY takes seriously any discomfort or dissatisfaction from anyone accessing any HENRY services or activities.

Complaints can be made in person, over the phone or by email to a practitioner or the manager in the service.

Alternatively complaints can be made through the HENRY National Office.

Phone: 01865 302973


Can parents & young people buy this service as part of their SEND personal budget?


SEND Personal Budget - Notes

This service if free for eligable families.

How to Get Here

Sessions run from local Children's Centres and other community venues.

Families are encouraged to check travel arrangements for the setting where programmes are being offered. 

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

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