Merton Bank Primary School

'Never less than our best'

Merton Bank Primary School, Roper Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ


family support and early help



Hi, my name is Mrs. O’ Brien. Along with being the Safeguarding Lead I am also the Early Help and Family Support Worker based at Merton Bank. I started here in March 2020 from working with Young Carers and their families.

My role at Merton Bank is to watch over the health, wellbeing and good mental health of our children and families, working alongside education to promote a positive future. I am available during the school term for anyone who may be struggling with anything at home, and to offer advice and/or support around this. I can also create a personal support plan using the Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT) for you, your child and your family if you feel there may be some areas that are a struggle for you at home or at school. I am the link between school and home life in the hope that we can work together in the best interests of all our children at Merton Bank. 

Early Help is all consent based, working alongside parents and/or carers in the hope of giving their children the best start in life as possible. The support group that is identified by parents/carers as part of the process aim to meet every 4-6 weeks to pull the plan together.

As a rule the information which you and your child provide will only be shared with your family’s consent. However there may be certain times when the people working with you need to share information.

For example:

• When they need to find out urgently if a child is at risk of harm;

• To help a child who is at risk of harm;

• When an adult is at risk of harm; or

• To help prevent or detect a serious crime.

It can sometimes be hard for parents or care givers to come and chat face to face with someone, so if preferred, you can always send me an email to and it will be passed on to me. I am also active on the school’s Parent App page, regularly posting advice, information and support services that can be accessed by our families. You can also find links to more information on the Safeguarding page of our website.

An information leaflet about the Early Help process can be found below. 

How We Can Support You

Merton Mini Market
We are very lucky to be supported by the charity Teardrops, along with 2 other schools in St Helens. This has enabled us to have our very own Merton Mini Market which is stocked with a variety of goods. Any family can access this at any time please feel free to come in and have a look. This is an excellent facility that we would like all families to benefit from, and it's completely free.

Your visit to Merton Mini market is confidential and discreet.

Food Bank Vouchers
I am also able to provide food bank vouchers. Again this is a confidential process

Torus Housing

Torus Housing is the local housing provider for St. Helens.  If your housing provider is Torus they can be contacted on 0800 678 1894.  

The website is 

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice St. Helens is a great service and offers support for families. They can be found at 

or contacted on 01744 737 866 (to arrange to speak to a Welfare Benefits or Debt advisor). 

Please drop in and see me should you need any support.

Family Hub

Family Hub and Children's Centres are for families with babies, children and young people from birth until they reach the age of 19 (or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities) and are a one stop shop for everything you need to know about bringing up a child in St Helens.

Family Hubs and Children's Centres are welcoming, friendly and safe places for families where parents and their children can go to access support, information and services in one place. For more information please visit 

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

Funded by the Department for Education, the Local Authority FREE holiday activities and food (HAF) programme has been a huge success, providing healthy food and enriching activities for primary and secondary school-aged children eligible for benefits-related free school meals.The aim of the HAF programme is to support children to eat more healthily, be more active over the school holidays and have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition, as well as be more engaged with school and other local services. For more information please click on the link: 

The Local Offer

The Local Offer is provided by St. Helens Local Authority to support parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them. You can find more information on their website at: 

Invest in Play Parenting Support Courses

Invest in Play is the latest parenting support course for parents / carers who may be struggling with their child's / children's behaviours at home. If you are interested, please speak with Mrs. O' Brien.  Merton Bank hold a group in school every January.  The course is 12 weeks long.  There are other venues available also should the group be fully booked / unavailable at Merton Bank. 

Reducing Parental Conflict advice and information 

Disagreements in relationships are normal - all parents/carers disagree from time to time and this is not usually problematic when both people feel able to handle and resolve disagreements.  Ongoing and unhealthy parental conflict is likely to have a negative impact on the whole family. There is support around how to have healthy arguments and disagreements, and how to move forward from this - please see below. 

Home-Start St Helens 

Home-Start is a local charity which has provided invaluable support and friendship to families in the St Helens area since 1988 and has achieved positive outcomes for hundreds of families living in the community. They carefully match a volunteer with a family in need of support. Volunteers are from all walks of life, each and every one a parent or even grandparent, all with a little free time available each week to help provide emotional and practical help to local families. Support is confidential, flexible and totally responsive to the family’s needs. If you feel you would benefit from Home-Start support please see leaflet below for more information. They also have a really good website at