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Apply to Parents in the Lead

Local parenting groups have until Friday 19 February to apply for up to £2,500 each from Better Start Bradford’s Parents in the Lead Activities Fund in the first application round of 2021.

The Parents in the Lead Activities Fund is open for applications from local groups wishing to run activities for parents/carers and their 0-3-year olds in the Better Start Bradford area (Bowling And Barkerend, Bradford Moor, and Little Horton). The activities can be delivered online, face-to-face (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted) or a mixture of both.

In the last round, 13 projects shared over £21,000 between them to run a variety of activities. Due to COVID-19, a few of the projects have had to be placed on hold until face-to-face contact can resume.

However, the pandemic did not stop others from adapting their projects and running sessions online including: Little Language Learners, who managed to deliver their online learning sessions to members of the Arabic speaking refugee community. The online sessions meant that parents and children could learn Arabic and English together.

Another project, Dance Motivation, has got local families active whilst dancing their hearts out and feeling more upbeat thanks to their dancing workshops. Mum of three, Esther Osakwe, 34, delivers the project on Zoom Wednesday afternoons and every Saturday morning. She said: “We use dance as a ‘vehicle’ so that both children and adults can express themselves through music and dance, while also improving emotional and social skills.”

“I was very passionate about bringing motivation through dance into other parent’s lives as I found the transition from pregnancy into parenthood a struggle. I wanted a way to bring mum’s together, but in a fun, accessible way – people learn better and share more when they are having fun!”

Originally the workshops would have been a 12-week course, but the arrival of the pandemic meant that Esther had to change their plans and make the course accessible online.

She said: “The sessions are for two hours on a Saturday morning. We start with a welcome and introduction from each family, but we make it fun and engaging. We then follow with a mixture of energetic movements to recharge everyone’s energy, a really simple routine that we all learn together. We all dance our hearts out freestyle, which the kids really love and I can see the parents do too! You even find that the older siblings start joining in too as it is so much fun!”

“We always have a theme each week, for example one week was improvisation. This helped to empower parents in their thinking around the practicalities with your baby and what if you forget something such as baby wipes when out and about. Rather than berating yourself and panicking (as mum’s often do) you could improvise – we discussed what we could do instead.”

“Our Parents in the Lead project has really helped these families through these challenging times, when looking after our well-being and keeping motivated has been so important. If you have a really good idea, please don’t be put off by the form. It is really simple and there’s a great team at Better Start Bradford ready to help you every step of the way, they certainly helped and supported me.”

“If you have an idea from your heart that will benefit parents with young children and you know what you want to achieve, then please just do it!”

A full list of Dance Motivation sessions can be found on our events page.

COVID-19 changes to Parents in the Lead Activities Fund

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have made the following changes:

  • Application Support – We have enhanced our support for groups who wish to apply for Parents in the Lead Activities funding. Please contact Sally Teasdale to discuss your idea on 07494 558337 or via email [email protected]. We will support you with the application process.
  • Bank accounts – If you don’t have an organisational bank account to hold the funding, we can assist with allocating a constituted group that can hold the monies for you.
  • Online Delivery – We are encouraging applications for projects that can be delivered online during the current COVID-19 pandemic, however we are also happy to fund projects that will be delivered face-to-face once everything returns to normality.
  • Online Delivery Costs – We can fund certain costs to assist with online delivery for smaller groups as long as these are contained within the £2,500 limit. Please contact the team to discuss this further.
  • COVID-19 Health and Safety – Projects applying that do have face-to-face delivery in the future will need to complete a very simple risk assessment. Any activity facilitators will have had to have undertaken COVID-19 safety training.
  • Monitoring – We have relaxed the Parents in the Lead monitoring requirements due to the pandemic. More information about this can be found in our guidance notes.

Please note that it will be the responsibility of the project to adhere to Government regulations and guidelines around COVID-19 that are in place at the time of project delivery.

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