Merton Bank Primary School

'Never less than our best'

School Roper Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ



Hi, my name is Jo O’ Brien. Along with being the Safeguarding Leas 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.

 I have been working with children and adults in various roles in St. Helens for the past 16 years and it is my passion to help and support families through early help to avoid anyone reaching a stage where they may find themselves in crisis.

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 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 in the hope of giving their children the best start in life as possible. 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 Twitter page and Parent App pages. You can also find links to more information on the Safeguarding page of our website.

How We Can Support You

Merton Mini Market
We are very lucky to be supported by the charity Teardrop this year, 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, so please use it before we lose it!

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
The Community Investment Officers offer a range of support services and are currently running a cooking course within school. If you would like any more information on this please contact Liz Gauckwin 01744 417646 – 07525766335

 CAB is a great service and offers support for families

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

EHAT (Early Help Assessment Tool)

On some occasions, I may feel you need more of a coordinated plan of support in which I may suggest an EHAT (Early Help Assessment Tool).
This is a process that helps to identify any support needs your child may have and includes your thoughts and ideas.  This information can also be shared with others working with your child to save you explaining things over and over again. It will usually involve one or two meetings where a Common Assessment form is completed with you.  This assesses your child’s individual circumstances and helps to identify any needs, prompting a discussion about how they may be met.