As we enter into what is called the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday, here at Better Start Bradford we have lots to feel happy about and look forward to in 2017.
In 2017 there will be more than 1,300 babies born in the Better Start Bradford area. Lots of parents, whether this is their first time or not, will experience the joy of their baby grabbing their finger, together with the worry of being responsible for giving this baby the best start possible; caring and feeding and nurturing a brand new human being. It can often feel overwhelming.
When babies are born, they come into our world already very talented: they are expecting to hear mum’s voice as they have been listening it for many months, they can often be calmed by hearing the music which you played to them when they were in the womb and they respond really well to stroking and cuddling having been in such a small space.
Of course we are never on our own, even when we feel that we are. Whether it is family, friends, neighbours or the wide range of people whose job it is to offer support and reassurance, there are people who love to help and can do a really good job of it. And that is where we come in too. 2017 is the year when Better Start Bradford will be fully up and running after a long period of building strong foundations and getting to know our communities and those people who just love to help.
We are here to help you with ‘the hardest job in the world’
Our vision is for all children to have the best possible start in life and this is what drives us to do the very best that we can at Better Start Bradford to support families with what is often called ‘the hardest job in the world’.
This year will see a wide range of projects for parents, from classes to prepare us for becoming a parent to opportunities to drop in to rhyme time groups, specialist support for parents who are really struggling to adapt to the changes in their life and access to quality, safe play spaces. They will be available at a range of local centres, some projects are offered in the family home and all of them are aiming to help give families what they need to build on the talents of their newborn.
We know that many of our families are struggling due to the benefits changes, their employment situation or because some services, which they used to rely on, have been reduced or cut and this additional pressure may affect their confidence to cope with all the messages they face about giving their child the best start in life.
We are here to help, to be sensitive to each family’s situation and find a way of offering support that works for them. So we will also be offering a lot of support for those people who just love to help – whether they are volunteering or are paid as part of their job to support families. We will make sure that they have the very latest knowledge and skills at their fingertips and that they know about all the other support available for families.
Our toddler years
2017 will be the year that Better Start Bradford enters into its toddler years. Thank you to all those families and practitioners who have helped us to build such firm foundations: we appreciate your commitment to our cause, your energy and your feedback to help us get better at what we do.
We are so very excited about what the year will bring and we hope you will continue to share that excitement and work with us with determination and passion to make sure that each one of the 1,300 babies born this year gets the best start in life.