Lottery funds aim to give a ‘Better Start’ to struggling families (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Lottery funds aim to give a ‘Better Start’ to struggling families
A Bradford social enterprise has just been given £347,000 to develop detailed plans on improving the lives of babies and youngsters living in some of the most deprived areas of the district.
If successful, the project will see around £50m from the Big Lottery invested in Bradford over a ten-year period.
Bradford Trident will use the Big Lottery Fund cash to develop long-term plans to help hundreds of struggling parents give their children the best start in life in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.
The multi-agency application to the Big Lottery Funding Programme, which is being coordinated by Bradford Trident, and involves Bradford Council, the NHS and voluntary organisations, is looking to improve outcomes in three main areas of child development from pregnancy to three years of age. The areas are: communication and language development; social and emotional development; and nutrition.
Child poverty across all three wards is 44-46 per cent which is higher than the Bradford average and more than double the national average. Child obesity in Year 6 across all three wards is 23-24 per cent which is also above the Bradford average and national average and low birth rates are also above both the Bradford and national averages.
Mick Binns, chief executive officer at Bradford Trident said: “This development grant of £347,000 will enable us to put forward a plan and if successful, Bradford will get £50 million over ten years. We are working with the NHS and the Council to really make a difference to help expectant mothers.
“They have awarded such large development grants because they want everybody who bids to make system changes for these young people. The money will pay for salaries and for doing surveys.
“We are looking at innovative solutions to support young mothers with issues and pregnant mothers.”
The investment, A Better Start, aims to improve the physical, emotional and psychological foundations built during a child’s first few years.
Around 40 areas across the country applied for the funding in stage one of the process. The lottery’s decision means that Bradford now goes through to the second stage along with ten to 15 other areas. A final decision is expected to be made by the end of March 2014, when three to five areas will be chosen to receive funding.
They will look at outreach and in-home support for families with children aged 0 – three years old. New programmes to enhance parenting skills, improve early learning, communication and language skills and improve nutrition in the home will run alongside the current programmes and activities.