St Helens Peoples Services, Children with Disability Service

Main contact: 

Jane Gavaghan-Hurd - Senior Portage Worker

Telephone number: 

01744 673131



The Bridge Centre at Moss Bank Children's Centre
Kentmere Avenue
Moss Bank
St Helens
WA11 7PQ

External website link

St Helens Portage

Service description

Portage is based on the principle that parents/carers are the key figures in the care and development of their children.  It offers practical ideas to:

  • Make learning more fun for the family
  • Encourage all round development
  • Address any problems which may arise

St Helens Portage is an all year round, home-based teaching service which caters for children from birth to 5 years and their families. 

It is funded by St Helens Children and Young People’s Service and is part of the Early Years strand of the Children with Disabilities Service.  

The service is incorporated into the Bridge Centre, a multi-disciplinary assessment centre for children with additional needs.

The team is managed by the Early Years Manager and Senior Portage Worker and has 5 full time Portage Worker posts. 

The Portage Workers provide a home visiting service and also provide advice and support to Early Years settings. 

The team works collaboratively with other staff and services provided by Health, Social Care, Sensory Support and the Bridge Centre.

Portage Workers have had Simply Sleep training in order to ensure the children on their Caseload have beneficial sleep patterns and behaviours – and this is built into their initial Assessments.

Families also enjoy respite and play sessions throughout the summer break. The Senior Portage Worker is a Senior Accredited Trainer and one Portage Worker is an Accredited Trainer with the National Portage Association. 

The 3 day Portage Basic Work Shop is run twice a year and both parents and professionals are invited to attend.

The Senior Portage Worker also provides Simply Sleep training – a 3 day course which provides delegates with the knowledge, tools and skills necessary to identify sleep problems, develop interventions and monitor progress. 

This training is accredited by Chester University and delegates can continue their study to gain accreditation as a Work Related Professional Skills Module.

Members of the Portage and Pre-School team provide EarlyBird, a 12 week parent  programme developed by the National Autistic Society for families who have a young child with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition.