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Up close with our Family and Community Engagement Team

Our Family and Community Engagement Team – AKA the FACE Team – never stops.

Our Community Engagement Manager, Fiona, shares what they’ve been up to during autumn and winter and what exciting things they have in the pipeline this coming year.

We’ve been really busy over the last few months with some exciting work. Our new dad’s engagement worker Zafar has hit the ground running getting local dads and male carers involved in a host of activities. Humera has been running forest schools sessions in Attock Park as part of her forest schools training and Sally has worked with Family Action to develop and distribute taster kits to promote the Perinatal Support Service.

Here are some highlights:

  • In September the team ran a busy information stand at the Voluntary Sector Assembly Conference. Conference attendees also heard all about Better Start Bradford’s successful virtual antenatal classes from our Facilitator, Heather.
  • The broader Better Start Bradford engagement team collaborated with researchers from ACT Early to share their thoughts on issues affecting the local community. The session sparked lots of ideas for future working including representation at Better Start Bradford’s newly-formed Community Reference Group.
  • As part of the Bradford Science Festival, Humera worked in collaboration with community partners to run sessions with 70 children and families at SHINE and the Laisterdyke Centre. They made junk music and explored science topics through puppets and storytelling.
  • We’ve worked in partnership with local schools and nurseries to run a series of Meet the Family events showcasing the different opportunities to get involved with Better Start Bradford. We engaged 50 new families at All Saints School and Park Lane Nursery alone.
  • Zafar went out door-to-door to recruit families with 0-3s from the BD3 area for the Baby Week Bradford family concert and dad-focused event at Kala Sangam. He enhanced the event by reading a heartfelt handwritten poem as a closer to the morning session. Furthermore, he said:

I felt really happy when all the families came along with their children.

I felt really happy when all the families came along with their children. Many are struggling financially to feed themselves but, nevertheless, they made it to the event. They enjoyed the craft session with our Early Years Facilitator and the concert very much. One family rang me to ask when the next event is and made a point of saying how everyone had welcomed them.

  • Ten dads, along with their young children, completed six woodworking sessions at WomenZone’s Play Gym in the very capable hands of Fearless People, Groundwork and our own Zafar. Together they crafted beautiful wooden stools, toy cars and trains, while Zafar encouraged them to work with and involve their children, reinforcing messages around bonding and the power of simple interaction.
  • In partnership with Family Action, we developed a taster pack to promote the Perinatal Support Service, containing an info card about the service plus some resources for some simple activities that promote interaction between parents and baby. There were instructions in the pack a how to use the resources, and some lovely bath salts for parents to relax as well. There was also a form for mums to give consent for the Perinatal Support Service to contact them to see if they would like support.
  • We delivered an online session about community engagement to 15 nursing, public health and nursery nurse students, and newly appointed Community Nursery Nurses.
  • The team partnered with Family Action and Bradford for Everyone for the annual St Mikolaj celebration with Roma and Eastern European families in City Park. Despite the wind and rain the turnout was remarkable, with singing, dancing and traditional music. We were once again joined by some of our Roma families from the Undercliffe /Otley Road areas. We were subsequently represented at the launch of the district’s Roma Engagement Strategy where we contributed to the development of the children and family’s section.

Watch out for our Meet the Family events popping up across the area.

Looking ahead, engagement plans for spring and summer include closer working with the Better Place project to run outdoor events during holiday periods. Please keep an eye on our events calendar or the Better Start Bradford app for further details.

We’ll be doing more engagement work with faith organisations and GP surgeries, and watch out for our Meet the Family events popping up across the area!

We’re developing an annual programme of events aimed at dads and male carers and our Bradford Dads Matters Engagement group have been busy building on the work at WomenZone and are venturing out into local parks with our environmental partners.

As always if any of these activities interest you or you just want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact myself, Humera or Zafar:

Fiona: [email protected]
Humera: [email protected]
Zafar: [email protected]

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