A MAJOR project following the lives of thousands of Bradford babies has reached a significant milestone.

More than 5,000 babies have now signed up for the Born in Bradford's Better Start (BiBBS) study.

BiBBS, which has been recruiting babies since 2016, seeks to further understand how children can be given the best possible start in life.

The research team is based at Bradford Institute for Health Research in the grounds of Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI)

Director of the BiBBS study, Dr Josie Dickerson, said: "Reaching the recruitment of our 5,000th baby into our study is fantastic news and a testament to the hard work of our team who have worked diligently over the past seven years to reach this target.

"However, the team isn't going to stop there and is aiming to recruit even more families between now and when recruitment ends next year.

"The ultimate target is to follow the progress of the more than 5,000 babies born in the Bradford district through the first two decades of their life.

"We believe that by watching the ups and downs of their lives in sickness and in health, it might become clearer why children become ill and how these illnesses can be better treated - or even prevented altogether.

"It's a huge undertaking, but it's time to stand back and celebrate for a moment."

BiBBS monitors and evaluates the effects of Better Start Bradford on children's wellbeing, health, and early development.

Better Start Bradford is a scheme delivering projects designed to improve the lives of young families in some of the district's most deprived areas.

Findings from BiBBS have already shown that children who have access to good-quality green spaces and parks have better mental well-being.

The news about 5,000 babies now being signed up for BiBBS coincides with Baby Week Bradford.

Dr Dickerson said: "We always look forward to taking part in Bradford Baby Week as it's such a great opportunity to celebrate Bradford's babies and families.

"This year is an even bigger celebration for us, having reached a huge milestone for our research study."

For any families wanting to take part in BiBBS, the team is still recruiting.

To take part, people will need to have had a baby born at BRI after April 2016, and live in one of the Better Start Bradford areas.

For more information, call the BiBBS team on: 01274 364474 or email borninbradford@bthft.nhs.uk