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In 2015, Better Start Bradford received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support pregnant women and families with children aged under four in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Five years on we have more than 20 projects just doing that.

What is even more wonderful is that our projects are not working independently from one another, they are working together and in collaboration to help support our families. There are many examples, our Better Place project works alongside our Forest School Play Project to enhance and enjoy natural play spaces. The Better Start Imagine project works alongside Better Place to bring family storytelling sessions to the outdoors, and Cooking for a Better Start is a natural progression for parents who have completed the HENRY programme.

In this blog, we talk to Rachel Duxbury, Breastfeeding Project Co-ordinator, from Better Start Bradford’s Breastfeeding Support project. Rachel shares how through their project they often identify families who need additional support, wider than their offer, and how they work particularly closely with the Home-Start Better Start project on a referral basis to meet this need.

Rachel says…

We work very closely with the Home-Start Better Start team. The nature of our breastfeeding support work requires us to make contact with, and build supportive relationships, with families in the very early postnatal period. Quite often families will confide in our support staff about other issues they are facing, and we can identify early on when further intervention is required from other projects and services.

As we were helping one mum, Aisha*, we identified that she needed more one-to-one support around issues that were not related to breastfeeding. Ideally, she needed someone to visit her on a weekly basis to support her in the home, so we referred her to Home-Start Better Start.

We have a lot of confidence in the quality of the service that they provide to families and we knew that Aisha would be appropriately supported with her needs. Aisha did look at other projects, but Home-Start Better Start was the best-placed organisation to offer her the practical and emotional support that she needed. Although our team offer some emotional support to mums, Home-Start Better Start have the staff and volunteers with the skills and experience to support families in a different way to us.

We consider it a great asset to be able to refer our parents to Home-Start Better Start and work closely with Home-Start volunteers to ensure families are supported in the best way possible.

This type of collaborative working is what Better Start Bradford is all about and families really do benefit from having such a seamless and co-ordinated approach.

To find out how Aisha was helped by Home-Start Better Start read Aisha’s blog.

To read about Tanya, the Home-Start Better Start volunteer who supported Aisha, read Tanya’s blog.

*names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

About Home-Start Better Start

Home-Start Better Start provides peer support, friendship and practical help to families with children aged under four and during pregnancy. Families are matched with a volunteer peer supporter who will come into the family home to offer understanding, reassurance, a listening ear and an extra pair of hands to help families cope with everyday situations.

If you are interested in volunteering, then Home-Start Better Start have a new Volunteer Preparation course starting on 26 February 2020. Find out more here.

If you are a parent with a child under four, and are finding things tough at the moment, you can ask for free help by contacting the Home-Start Better Start team. Contact details can be found on our projects page.

About the Breastfeeding Support project

The Breastfeeding Support project offers practical and emotional support for families with a baby up to six months old who is breastfeeding/mixing bottle and breastfeeding, through visits at home or a place of the mum’s choice.

The project is personalised to fit around the family and other appointments. This project is being delivered by Health for All. Most families will be offered visits through their hospital.