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Home-Start gets started: trained volunteers to support local families in the home

Better Start Bradford is today launching its first project of 2017: Home-Start Better Start.

Home-Start Better Start will provide vulnerable families with young children with the social support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Matching families, who are experiencing difficulties, with a trained volunteer who will provide home visits.

Home-Start Better Start will support families with 0-3 year olds, living in the Bowling, Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton areas of Bradford.

The bespoke project has been aligned with Better Start Bradford’s aim to give children the best start in life and will focus on good health, social and emotional development, and communication.

Volunteer peer supporters will go through an intensive preparation course to ensure that they can support families in need with parenting skills, emotional and moral support, practical support, reassurance and encouragement, and refer to other Better Start Bradford projects in the area.

Jane Broder, Family and volunteer coordinator, Home-Start Better Start, said: “We are really looking forward to matching Home-Start Better Start volunteers with families and providing the emotional and practical support to help parents feel they can better cope with the stresses of daily life.

“As coordinator I’m here to bring together volunteers and families to ensure the best supportive relationship. Through our preparation course volunteers with parenting experience will build on their existing life skills to provide high level support to local families.”

The first Home-Start Better Start preparation course for volunteers begins today, with volunteers supporting families from April 2017. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact Jane on 01274 666711 or email [email protected]

Michaela Howell, Director of Better Start Bradford said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Home-Start Bradford to deliver a bespoke Home-Start project that complements our outcomes around improved social and emotional development, health and nutrition and language and communication. Home-Start is a well-established scheme and model that we know works well. Their aim, along with ours, is to help families give their children the best start in life.”

Home-Start Better Start is one of 22 projects being set up through the innovative Better Start Bradford programme, a 10-year Big Lottery-funded programme that aims to support families to give children the best possible start in life. Better Start Bradford is working to engage families with children under four and expectant parents across three wards of Bradford (Little Horton, Bowling and Barkerend and Bradford Moor), through a broad range of projects that support language and communication, health and nutrition, and social and emotional development. As one of five ‘A Better Start’ programmes around the country, it aims to leave a lasting legacy for Bradford families, and share lessons with other areas. Ten Better Start Bradford projects are already up and running (see below), with the rest due to be in place later this year.


Other Better Start Bradford projects already up and running:

* Welcome to the World – friendly, local group antenatal sessions for pregnant mums and dads

* Talking Together – supporting two-year-olds in communication and language development through in-home visits to encourage play and conversation over a six-week period

* HENRY (Health Exercise Nutrition for the Really Young) – an eight-week course supporting parents to develop healthy lifestyles

* Baby Buddy app – free mobile phone app for parents and parents-to-be, with personalised content approved by doctors and midwives, from pregnancy to six months after birth

* Personalised Midwifery Care Pilot – ensuring women see the same midwife, with longer appointments, and enhanced support and information

* Family Nurse Partnership – a home visiting programme to support teenage first time parents and their children regarding health, wellbeing and self-sufficiency

* ESOL + for pregnancy – language courses for pregnant women with English needs, to help them engage with their midwife and be more in control of their pregnancy and labour

* Perinatal Support Service – providing emotional support to families under pressure during pregnancy and the first year after birth.

* Better Start Imagine – providing free books and reading activities to children under four, to help develop language and literacy skills


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