HUNDREDS of Bradford families will take part in the UK’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week campaign which starts today.

A whole host of inspirational events have been organised for each day of this week by Better Start Bradford to get the important message across to parents and carers that building up babies minds’ will give them the best possible start in life.

The activities will be happening in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton in Bradford where innovative community partnership Better Start Bradford, a 10-year £49m Big Lottery funded project, is giving support and services to families with children aged zero to three.

Michaela Howell, Programme Director of Better Start Bradford, said: “We’re thrilled to be getting involved in the first Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, alongside our partners and hundreds of local families. This event aims to raise awareness of a critical topic: how families can support their babies’ brain development to give them the best possible start in life.”

And she added: “In the first few years of a child’s life, their brain develops rapidly, and the way parents nurture their child is essential to this. The activities we’re running in Bradford this week offer parents practical, fun ways to help their babies to be active, creative, healthy and happy. It’s a message we will continue to get across through our projects with local families year-round.”

Activities lined up to take place at community venues, schools and outdoor play spaces, include stay and play fun to get toddlers active, What’s the Story Jackanory? storytime sessions to get young brains creative and an Olympic-style Fun In the Park event at Myra Shay from 1pm on Wednesday, June 8 in Barkerend Road.

What’s the story Jackanory! will be at at the Shine project at St Stephen’s Church Hall in Newton Street, West Bowling, at 1.30pm today.

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week is co-ordinated nationally by the Parent Infant Partnership, to raise awareness about the importance of social and emotional wellbeing for babies.

Better Start Bradford is a community partnership led by Bradford Trident, bringing together partners from Children’s Services, Health, Police Voluntary Sector and the community to give children a more positive start in life.

To find out more about Better Start Bradford, one of five local area partnerships that got a share of £215m lottery funding, go to