A positive future for young people living in Sutton

17 Nov 2023

Sutton is a great place to grow up. We have outstanding schools, award winning parks, as well as a very busy high street which we are developing to make it more appealing for everyone, including our younger residents. We are also one of the safest boroughs in London. No wonder so many families are choosing to make Sutton their home.

As a council, Sutton offers a service to residents when they are finding being a parent a bit of a challenge. Our Parenting Support Programmes have been really successful in providing good support to local families by giving help and a lot of encouragement. The sessions have been held in several parts of the borough - in local community centres and in libraries.

One of the programmes took place at HMP High Down in Belmont. I was invited there to attend the Graduation Ceremony for the prisoners who had completed the five-week parenting course. I spoke to the prisoners about the programme they had been on which focused on helping them to become better fathers, both while they are in prison and when they are released. I was so moved by some of the conversations I had and to hear about the positive effect of the course. There was nothing but praise for the two council officers who delivered the course - I was told they are “seriously awesome”. I could see that over the weeks both trust and a good rapport had been built up and it was very clear that this course had such a positive impact on everyone concerned.

As well as our Parenting Support programme, Sutton also offers support through our designated Family hubs. When I went to see the Family Hub in Sutton Central Library I was impressed with the kind and caring colleagues who were there giving advice and support to parents and carers. It had a lovely relaxed atmosphere and felt very welcoming.

Young people really are the future of our borough and this week I was delighted to attend Sutton’s Youth Summit. It was organised by Sutton’s Young Commissioners, who are based at the Volunteer Centre Sutton, and they really are a force to be reckoned with! I’ve been to see them before and they have some great ideas for the future of Sutton. It has been good for us to see things from their point of view and they have been working with us on a number of our major projects.

I was delighted to see such a great turn out at the Summit and if any young person is interested in joining the Young Commissioners here is their website.

Have a good weekend.

Councillor Ruth Dombey
Leader of the Council