Bradford secures £50 million to give babies a better start in life

Bradford has been awarded £48,969,270 to help parents give their children the best start in life. The award comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s A Better Start: Fulfilling Lives programme and will be spread over the next ten years.

The successful programme will be led by Bradford Trident, and will involve a wide number of public, private, voluntary and community based organisations working together to support families.

NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are part of the partnership involved in the bid.

Approximately 1,430 babies are born each year within the Better Start Bradford areas of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton and the programme will focus on three main areas of child development from pregnancy to three years of age. 

These are:

• Communication and language development
• Social and emotional development
• Nutrition
 
The results of the project will be that:
 
• Families benefit from a more coordinated and seamless service which recognises and can deal with their needs at an early stage. 

• More children enter school with the language, social and emotional skills they need to help them learn and develop effective friendships. 

• More families are able to provide healthy and nutritious food for their children and encourage their children to be active from an early age.

• More children benefit from early learning, having good opportunities within the home.
 
Bradford is one of five areas across the UK that has been awarded funding after going through a rigorous selection process. 118 areas originally expressed an interest in taking part in the programme.
 
Indi Elcock, mum from Bradford Moor and member of the partnership, said “This is fantastic and exciting news!  It is a unique opportunity to change the lives of our children. The first three years of their lives are the most important in preparing them for the rest of their childhood and adult life and we can now offer them more.  This project is going to be life changing - we need to embrace this opportunity, spend the money wisely and make a difference.”
 
Mick Binns, Chief Executive of Bradford Trident says “This programme will change the future prospects of a whole generation of our children and we are delighted to be working with our communities and partners to achieve it. We think we were successful because we have put secure and loving relationships with our children at the heart of our proposal.”
 
Coun David Green, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “It is fantastic news that this bid has been successful and I want to congratulate the many partners and staff who have been involved. This project will help families and young children that live in some of our poorest communities. The resources that have been secured will give us the opportunity to make a real difference to many people’s lives over the next decade.” 
 
Tony Reeves, Bradford Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Bradford has one of the youngest populations of any area in Britain.  We have to put our youngest citizens at the heart of what we do and prioritise their education and health. This project will ultimately bring benefit to the whole of the district and will help us improve the chances of the next generation.”
 
The partnership involved in the bid includes Bradford Council (Children’s Services, Public Health, Neighbourhoods, Families First), Bradford CCGs, Bradford District Care Trust (Health Visitors), Bradford Hospital Trust (Midwives), Born in Bradford, Children’s Centres, VCS (Young Lives), Incommunities, Private Sector, Social enterprise (Childminder and Bumps and Babes). Community partners include representatives from the Anchor Project, Karmand Centre, Shine Project, BD4 Family, Inspired Neighbourhoods as well as parents and community people who put themselves forward.