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Page Health and wellbeing

Playful Places

There's so much fun to be had in outside spaces of local community centres. Whether it is following a sensory foot trail, transporting sand or getting arty on blackboards and paving, there's something for every toddler.

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Page Health and wellbeing

Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Libraries is an initiative that brings greater access to books for very young children. Find out where your nearest Little Free Library is.

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Page Outdoor activities

Kettlewell Snicket

Local families and their little ones are enjoying walking to Canterbury Nursery via Kettlewell Snicket. They are hopping over the alphabet stepping-stones, playing hopscotch and saying hello to the giant ladybird!

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Page Activities for parents / carers

Folkestone Street

Never has walking along a street been so much fun! Better Place have worked their magic on Folkestone Street - there's so much to see as you hop, skip and jump along the path, you will want to do it over and over again!

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Page Activities for parents / carers

Beech Grove Greenway

Beech Grove Greenway is a stretch of green space providing a route through to the city centre from Beech Grove Park. It is now more attractive, fun and safe for families with young children. Find out more here...

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Page Activities with children

Pocket Parks

There's much fun to be had in Pocket Parks thanks to Better Place. Visit Attock Park to see if you can spot the sea creature sculptures or zoom down the Mayfield Centre slide before visiting the little free library.

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Page Activities with children

Myra Shay Park

There's so much to do at Myra Shay thanks to the Better Place team. Play hide and seek in the growing forest with your little ones. Roll down the mounds. See if you can name all of the different species of trees.

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Page Activities with children

Horton Park

There's so much to do at Horton Park thanks to the Better Place team. Whizz around the sculptures and across the bridge on your trike. See what you can build in the sandpit.

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Page Activities with children

Peel Park

There's so much to do at Peel Park thanks to the Better Place team. Dare you climb up the spider's web to whoosh down the spider's slippery slide? And then clamber over the higgledy piggledy logs into the sand pit!

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Page Activities with children

Bowling Park

There's so much to do at Bowling Park thanks to the Better Place team. Whizz around the wheelie track on your trike. Play hide and seek in the sand pit huts. See which creatures you can spot in The Roughs.

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Page Activities with children

Bradford Moor Park

Are you ready to have an adventure in the natural play area? Or you can whoosh down the slide into the pond with shining mosaic fish and run around the giant duck, badger and mole before hiding in the wriggly worm!

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Page Activities with children

FAQs

Why do we only work in three wards? What projects and services do we provide? How can you volunteer with us? Find out the answers to these and many more questions...

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Project Activities with children

Better Place

The Better Place project is working with local people to create safer, healthier and fun places across the Better Start Bradford area. Where will your next adventure be?

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Page Activities with children

Evaluation

Better Start Bradford is an evidence-led programme, developed according to research into what works in supporting expectant families and families with children aged 0-3. Find out how it is being evaluated.

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Page Activities with children

Governance

Find out who makes up our Partnership Board and why our governance structure is a little bit different

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Page English language skills

Moments that Matter

A series of videos made by parents for parents. You will watch parents and carers sharing precious little moments which will help little ones' brains grow and develop.

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Page English language skills

Community Engagement

Meet our Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team and Neighbourhood Workers - the face and voice of Better Start Bradford in the community.

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Page English language skills

Big Little Moments

A series of animated videos featuring everyday Big Little Moments you can share with your babies and toddlers to build their brains. The little moments you share every day make a big difference.

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Page English language skills

Better Start Brushing

Better Start Brushing is an educational campaign to help improve the oral health of 0-3s in the Better Start Bradford area.

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Page English language skills

Locations

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Page News

Jobs

Come and join our amazing team, dedicated to giving children the best start in life.

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News & Impact Stories News

Better Place Fairy Pots Art Competition

Get your paints, pens, pencils, crayons at the ready because our Better Place project are wanting artwork from families with children aged under four years living in the Better Start Bradford area

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Page News

Volunteer as a Community Champion

Our Community Champions are simply amazing. By giving just a few hours a week, you could help us reach many more families in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

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News & Impact Stories Impact Stories

Celebrating Two Years of Growing Together Bradford

Just over two years ago, we announced four new projects funded through our Innovation Fund, including £30,000 for ‘Growing Together Bradford’…then Covid-19 struck and we went into lockdown. Find out how Horton Community Farm and Grow to School adapted their project and kept going…

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Page Documents

Eligibility Journey

Whether you're a family looking for support or a member of the workforce looking to refer a family, start your journey here to find the right support.

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Page News

About us

Find out all about who we are, why we exist and why we're so passionate about the early years.

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Page News

Our projects

We have over 15 amazing projects for expectant families and families with children aged 0-3 in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Find the right one for you or a family you're working with.

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Page News

Volunteering

If you want new skills to help you into employment, would like to give something back, or want to put that spare time to good use, we've got a volunteering role for you.

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Page News

Campaigns

Early childhood development broken down into simple steps, with activities and resources galore for families and the workforce alike.

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Page News

Events & activities

Whether you’re expecting a baby, have children aged 0-3 or work or volunteer in health, maternity or early years, we've got an event or training session for you.

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Page News

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Here's how you can get in touch with us Monday to Friday.

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Page News

Latest news

Find out what's new at Better Start Bradford and read real-life, heartfelt, stories from families and volunteers who have benefited from our work.

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Page News

Privacy Policy

Who we are Suggested text: Our website address is: http://bsb.:8888. Comments Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a […]

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News & Impact Stories News

New workshops from group which Royal couple met

A grandparenting group, ChildsSide’s Older Yet Wiser, who met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Bradford in 2020 have been running grandparenting workshops for grandparents of 0-3s.

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Better Place, Better Life

Annabel Mason, Senior Project Officer for Better Start Bradford’s Better Place programme, shares the extensive work that the team have been doing in the community to improve air quality.

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Five special trees for 500 Volunteer Doulas

Myra Shay recreation ground will soon be humming to the sounds of active children and families, and wildlife, thanks to a project delivered in collaboration with Better Place and Bradford Volunteer Doulas.

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Baby Week Bradford returns!

Baby Week Bradford returns from 15-21 November 2021 and aims to challenge everyone to think about why Bradford babies are everyone’s business…

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Outdoor Fun – whatever the weather!

If it’s cold outside, it can be tempting to keep your little ones warm indoors. But there are still many ways you and your young children can continue to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather!

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News & Impact Stories News

Parents in the Lead reaches £120,000

Eight groups are receiving a share of £16,500 thanks to the latest round of Better Start Bradford’s Parents in the Lead Activities Fund, bringing the overall total to £121,418 since the fund began in April 2017.

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News & Impact Stories Impact Stories

Volunteering saved my life

Raymond volunteers with many different groups, but he credits Better Start Bradford with turning his life around

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The Power of Volunteering

Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is the nation’s chance to celebrate the wonderful contribution that volunteers make. In this blog we chatted to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Emma Stafford, to find out more about what inspires her to do her role at Better Start Bradford and why she believes in the power of volunteering. Emma’s role is […]

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Innovative Toddler Play Gym and Healthy Café set launched May 2021

WomenZone are delighted to announce the opening of their new play gym and healthy café from Monday 17 May 2021, thanks to funding of £99,600 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. Through lockdown, WomenZone, who are based at Hubert Street, Bradford, have been busy developing their new baby and toddler play gym called ‘The Play […]

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Launch of the new ACEs, Trauma and Resilience Strategy for Bradford District

Partners came together on 16 March 2021 to launch the new Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Trauma and Resilience Strategy for the Bradford District.  The strategy is the culmination of a desire in Bradford to move forward with becoming a trauma informed and ACE aware city.  The journey began in October 2018 when Better Start Bradford […]

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New home-visiting programme

Better Start Bradford is supporting the implementation of the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH) programme with health visitors from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT) in the Better Start Bradford area and Bradford East area. MECSH was designed in Australia to provide structured support to families at risk of poorer maternal and […]

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Meet our Neighbourhood Workers

Community engagement has always been at the heart of Better Start Bradford. Everything we deliver is for the community and has been developed with our local community. So, it made perfect sense to ensure that we had community workers based within each area that we serve in Bradford. Therefore, our Neighbourhood Project was born. By […]

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Supporting healthy oral habits from the start

Last year the University of Leeds received £109,000 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund to improve oral health for 0-3’s in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton by delivering their ‘Enhancing the HABIT’ project with the area’s Health Visitors as soon as COVID-19 allows. HABIT (Health visitors delivering Advice in Britain on Infant […]

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Better Start Bradford wins Nursery World Award

The Better Start Bradford Communications and Marketing Team is celebrating (albeit remotely) after winning Nursery World’s Online and Social Media award. They were awarded it at the online ceremony on Thursday 4 February. The judges described Better Start Bradford’s online presence as key to the programme’s work in “getting messages and information out to the […]

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Happy New Year 2021 from Alex

Happy New Year – I think we’re all ready to see the back of the last one and genuinely hope for a healthier and happier 2021. 2020 was not what any of us thought it might be, and whilst it has brought sadness and challenges we never imagined would happen in our lifetime, the Better […]

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How communities created their Better Place

We all know that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and that is because bricks and mortar are not the only things that matter when it comes to building or creating something for the community. What matters most is that local communities are involved from the very beginning to decide what is needed for their […]

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Why ‘Home-Start Better Start’ is the perfect name

In the first few weeks of lockdown, we spoke to Phoebe* who was being supported by Home-Start Better Start volunteer Amanda. Phoebe, 26, has now got to the point where she no longer feels she needs Amanda’s support. She took the time to talk to us about how she felt Amanda has helped her over the last […]

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Innovative programme to support dads receives funding of £91,000

Sharing Voices Bradford has received £91,000 to support fathers and male care givers of 0-3’s, with its Resilient Dads’ Programme, through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. Resilient Dads is a holistic personal development and parenting skills programme which aims to develop the skills and competence of fathers to support their toddlers social, emotional, and cognitive […]

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Growing Together through Lockdown

At the beginning of Spring 2020, life as we knew it changed quite dramatically for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at Better Start Bradford, we have been incredibly proud of how our family of projects and partners have come together to continue to offer support to families in need through a variety of […]

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Get ready for a boost with Baby Week Bradford 2020

Things may be a little different this year, but that is not stopping Better Start Bradford and partners from hosting Baby Week Bradford 2020. They are thrilled to announce a fun-packed and educational programme for the third year running, with more than 30 free events taking place from 9 – 13 November 2020. This year’s […]

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Building Little Conversations

24-year-old mum Sherish was very concerned about her daughter Sarah, aged two, as she was not saying many words and those that she could say were not very clear. Thanks to Better Start Bradford’s Talking Together project, which supports two-year-olds in language development through play and conversation in the family home, Sherish is now happy […]

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Being a Doula in lockdown

Jane Longthorn, 42 is a volunteer doula with Bradford Doulas and when she started supporting her fifth mum, Aneesah, COVID-19 struck. Jane was worried that she would not be able to support Aneesah during her pregnancy in the same way that she had supported her other mums. In this blog we hear how Jane’s support […]

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Developing a virtual antenatal offer during COVID-19

When our regular antenatal provision was put on hold due to COVID-19, we decided to develop virtual classes for pregnant women across the district to ensure they continued to receive professional advice and support during lockdown.  Our resident NHS Leadership Fellows, Dr Michelle Everitt and Dr Elizabeth Pal, along with our specialist midwife, Alison Brown, […]

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How perinatal support turned my life around

Nisa, 28, is mum to three children under the age of five. When her youngest son was born, she simply felt like she couldn’t face the world each day until support came in the form of Better Start Bradford’s Perinatal Support Service. The service has had such an impact on her life that she intends […]

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Talking Together during COVID-19

Mum of five, Sara Shah, 42, had thought everything was okay with her youngest son’s language development until she completed a routine questionnaire as part of the Talking Together assessment for two-year olds focusing on his speech and language development. Her young son was surrounded by lots of conversation by being part of a large […]

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University of Leeds to work with Better Start Bradford to improve oral health in 0-3’s

The University of Leeds have received £109,000 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund to improve oral health for 0-3’s in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton by delivering their ‘Enhancing the HABIT’ project with the area’s Health Visitors as soon as COVID-19 allows. HABIT (Health visitors delivering Advice in Britain on Infant Toothbrushing) […]

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Seeing the world through babies’ eyes – Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs every June to highlight the importance of babies’ emotional wellbeing and development. This year’s theme is: seeing the world through babies’ eyes. Even as tiny newborns, babies want to connect, communicate and learn, and they experience lots of different emotions. The first 1001 […]

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Being a volunteer during lockdown

During lockdown there was increased fear and anxiety around COVID-19, with some mums and mums-to-be with depression, anxiety and low mood feeling more isolated. As the Perinatal Support Service is a volunteer-led service, they have been very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers continuing to provide emotional support and a listening ear to mums over the […]

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Home-Start Better Start volunteer support during lockdown

Phoebe*, 26 had never felt so alone. She had left her family and friends in Huddersfield to move to Bradford with her husband and their two young sons aged two and three. Then COVID-19 struck! Thankfully Home-Start Better Start have been able to offer Phoebe ongoing support over the phone. Phoebe’s Story When we moved […]

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Better Start Bradford awards £314,500 to four local innovative projects

Four groups across the Better Start Bradford area are celebrating after receiving a share of £314,500 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund launched last year and invited organisations to apply for funding of up to £100,000 to run innovative and creative projects which focus on parenting and the first years of life […]

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Giving children a better start in life – Personalised Midwifery Care project

As part of the fifth-year celebrations of the A Better Start programme, Children and Young People Now interviewed representatives from each of the five sites, including our own Head of Programme, Gill Thornton, who spoke about the Personalised Midwifery Care Project delivered by the Clover Team pictured above. The foundations for a happy, healthy life […]

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An incredible turnaround

When mum, Jannat*, 40 adopted her baby daughter she thought it would all be ‘plain sailing’ as she had already raised a teenage daughter. However, when her baby daughter turned into a toddler, the tantrums began… Jannat’s story My name is Jannat and I have two daughters aged 19 and two. I adopted my youngest […]

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Celebrating collaborative working

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 […]

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How Home-Start Better Start helped me

When 35-year-old Aisha* gave birth to her second child, she felt that the world was completely against her. Her caesarian scar was not healing, her baby son would not feed, he wouldn’t sleep, and it felt like her wider family were blaming her as she wanted to breastfeed rather than bottle feed. Although her husband […]

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Better Start Bradford projects showcased during #RoyalVisitBradford January 2020

We were thrilled to showcase our work with families when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bradford on Wednesday 15 January 2020. The Royal couple visited the Khidmat Centre, BD7, where they joined grandparents, parents and their babies and toddlers from Little Dots, a music and play group funded by our Parents in the […]

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Happy New Year 2020 from Alex Spragg

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade! Since joining Better Start Bradford in April 2019 I have been getting to know the team, our projects, partners and families, and learning about the incredible work that is underway. I’ve also been getting to know Bradford better. I have recently bought a house and joined […]

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Community Star Winner 2019

With a record number of votes for 2019 (over 81,000!), our finalists eagerly awaited the announcement of the Better Start Bradford 'Outstanding Contribution to Early Years' award. Find out who won.

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Meet our Board Members – Salma Nawaz

At the heart of Better Start Bradford, we have our Partnership Board who are responsible for making the key decisions regarding delivery of the programme. The Board is made up of representatives from the public and voluntary sectors in Bradford, joined by representatives from the local community. One such community representative is Salma Nawaz – […]

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Get Ready for Baby Week Bradford 2019

After the success of the first ever Baby Week Bradford last year, Better Start Bradford and partners are thrilled to announce the programme for the second Baby Week Bradford, with more than 40 free events taking place from 4-10 November 2019. Babies are amazing. They’re born ready for everything and really deserve to be celebrated, […]

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Being Sam

People have many reasons for volunteering or working in the jobs that they do and for SHINE’s Family and Community Worker, Sam Thirkhill, her reasons are clear … she just wants to give back something to the local community. Through her own life experiences, she knows what a struggle parenting can be at times and […]

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I lost weight with Cooking For A Better Start!

Young mum, Shakila Ghafaripour, 22, certainly has her hands full with two children under the age of three. Her youngest son Rayaan is seven months old and her eldest Ayaan has just turned two. Shakila recently attended Better Start Bradford’s six-week HENRY Cooking for a Better Start programme and not only did she learn to […]

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Better Start Brushing!

Better Start Bradford have launched their latest campaign to improve oral health in 0-4 years olds in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Bradford has the highest rates of childhood tooth decay in Yorkshire, with more than 1 in 3 five-year old children having evidence of decayed or filled teeth. Poor oral health […]

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Four Doulas and a Baby!

It was widely speculated in the press that Meghan Markle may have used a doula to support her and Prince Harry with the birth of baby Archie. However, one local Bradford mum had to have the support of four volunteer doulas when she gave birth!   After being induced on the Friday night, the mum […]

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Nominations Open! Outstanding Contribution to Early Years Award

We’re delighted to have teamed up with the Telegraph and Argus and People Can for a fourth year to offer our special ‘Outstanding Contribution to Early Years’ award as part of the annual Community Stars awards! Nominations are now open and you have until Friday 4 October 2019 to submit your entry. The early years category […]

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Better Start Bradford project nominated for Nursery World award

Our Talking Together project has been shortlisted for the Working Together with Parents award in the 2019 Nursery World Awards. Talking Together, was developed by BHT Early Education and Training (BHT) as a response to the high levels of language deprivation they encountered in Bradford back in 2004, and is delivered to parents of children aged two years […]

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How HENRY helped my son eat

HENRY is an eight-week course supporting families with young children to develop healthy lifestyles. The course is also offered on a one-to-one basis for families that may struggle to attend fixed sessions. One single mum, Tasmida, 23, has really benefited from this approach, with Better Start Bradford’s Sally Teasdale delivering HENRY in Tasmida’s home. Tasmida’s […]

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Out of the darkness into the light

When Reena found out she was pregnant, she was devastated. She simply did not want to be pregnant. The baby’s father didn’t want to know and she had no-one else to support her. Her mental health began to suffer and Reena began to have dark, suicidal thoughts. Thanks to the Perinatal Support Service, Reena is […]

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Proud to be a Community Champion

Becoming a Better Start Bradford volunteer Community Champion means different things to different people, but for Ali Nahani, 54, the role has given him a real sense of purpose and direction that he did not expect. In his own words, it has given him a ‘second family’. Here’s Ali’s story My name is Ali Nahani […]

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Exploring difficult beginnings during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week takes place next week, 10-14 June 2019, with this year’s focus being ‘Difficult Beginnings’. The birth of a baby can be an exciting time, but many women and their partners can experience difficulties during pregnancy, the birth and after the baby is born.  Pre and post birth is a crucial time […]

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Volunteer with us!

We are offering people in the Better Start Bradford area the opportunity to support its work with families as a volunteer Community Champion or a Community Board Member. Community Champions volunteer by helping out at Better Start Bradford’s fun-packed family events for families with children under four and spreading the word about all the exciting […]

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Donah: Why I’m a volunteer doula

When mum of three, Donah Worsman, 37, spotted an advert for a volunteer doula with the Bradford Doulas, she jumped at the chance. Having had a difficult experience with the birth of her first child and then suffering from post-natal depression, she knew that she wanted to help women have really positive birth experiences. Donah’s […]

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Why continuity of carer matters

We were thrilled when we learned that two of our projects have been working together and supporting an isolated single mum through her birth journey, creating a continuity of carer that she had not had previously.

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Sophie’s Voice

As we say ‘au revoir’ to our Programme Administrator, Sophie, 27, as she starts her maternity leave. We thought it would be interesting to find out whether working at Better Start Bradford has had an impact on her own pregnancy journey. We asked Sophie a few questions before she starts her motherhood adventure. Tell us […]

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How to glow on the outside

Despite the grey, drizzly conditions of a late spring Bradford morning, 85 early years and health professionals learned how to shine at our first official Nurturing Knowledge event. Dr Happy – AKA Andy Cope of Art of Brilliance – challenged attendees to take on a society that does everything it can to make us believe […]

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The ‘FACE’ of Better Start Bradford

Never has a team been so appropriately named! Better Start Bradford’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team are indeed the ‘face’ of Better Start Bradford and can be found out and about in our community spreading our messaging to give babies the best start in life. We managed to catch them on a rare occasion […]

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Introducing our new Programme Director, Alex Spragg

We’re delighted to welcome Alex Spragg who joined this week as our new Programme Director. We thought we’d get to know Alex a bit better and asked her a few questions about herself. Talking about her background, Alex said: “I have over 20 years’ experience of working with children and families in a variety of […]

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The Incredible Years

Busy mum, Huma Mir, 32, certainly has her hands full with three lively sons under the age of ten. Her youngest son is two. When Huma came across the Incredible Years course, which promotes positive attachment between parents and their toddlers, she thought it would be the ideal opportunity to give her a better understanding […]

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Zara: I’m now cooking for a better start!

When Zara Imtiaz*, 33, happened to overhear a conversation about the Cooking for a Better Start project, she knew that this was just what she needed to improve her youngest son’s eating habits. Zara’s story I was sitting in the waiting room of my four year old son’s school, when I overheard a lady telling […]

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Introducing…Big Little Moments!

We’re really excited to launch our Big Little Moments campaign! Over the next year – with the help of a friendly cast of characters – we’ll showcase 15 important behaviours that make a huge difference to a child’s development. Come and meet the Big Little Moments family via short fun video animations at: www.betterstartbradford.org.uk/biglittlemoments The […]

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New naturalistic sand play zone coming to Newby Primary

Newby Primary School’s nursery and reception, at Ryan Street, are to receive a brand new sand play area this January thanks to the Better Place Project, which is part of the National Lottery funded Better Start Bradford programme. The naturalistic sand play zone, which will include equipment, sensory planting and large rocks, will encourage children […]

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My Champion Journey by Sundas Mughal

Our Community Champions are Better Start Bradford’s biggest assets. They are rooted in their communities and provide trusted peer to peer motivation around our key aim to give children the best start in our area of Bradford. One of our Community Champions, Sundas Mughal, shares her champion journey with us. Sundas’ Journey When I became […]

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£100,000 Innovation Fund Launches

National Lottery funded Better Start Bradford has a new Innovation Fund for local groups to apply for funding to run and deliver new projects to help improve the lives of children in the Better Start Bradford area of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Between £2,500 to £100,000 is being made available as […]

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2018 Community Star winner

The votes were in and counted (over 16,000 were received) and it was finally time to announce the crème de la crème of Bradford's Community Stars and our 2018 Early Years’ winner. Find out who won.

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Meet our Board Members – Vipin Joshi

When seven-year-old Vipin Joshi arrived in this country he didn’t speak any English. Over his 45 plus years here in Bradford he’s run many successful business ventures, had a triple heart bypass, spent 14 years on Bradford Trident’s Board and developed a broad Yorkshire accent. Here Vipin shares why BD5 is the greatest place to […]

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Men in the Early Years Conference

At Better Start Bradford, we put the community at the centre of everything that we do. In July, the Men in the Early Years Conference took place in Bristol and was attended by Satnam Singh, one of our Community Board members and Ian Thorpe, one of our Programme Facilitators. Satnam’s overview The aim of this […]

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Why do children become so attached to their favourite toy?

At our Shared Learning ‘Let’s Play’ event on Thursday 21 September 2017, Professor Fraser Brown shared his knowledge and research into building baby and toddler brains through play. Professor Brown is the first Professor of Playwork in the UK and and teaches on the BA (Hons) Playwork degree at Leeds Beckett University. In this blog […]

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Page Health and wellbeing

Playful Places

There's so much fun to be had in outside spaces of local community centres. Whether it is following a sensory foot trail, transporting sand or getting arty on blackboards and paving, there's something for every toddler.

View page >
Page Health and wellbeing

Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Libraries is an initiative that brings greater access to books for very young children. Find out where your nearest Little Free Library is.

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Page Outdoor activities

Kettlewell Snicket

Local families and their little ones are enjoying walking to Canterbury Nursery via Kettlewell Snicket. They are hopping over the alphabet stepping-stones, playing hopscotch and saying hello to the giant ladybird!

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Page Activities for parents / carers

Folkestone Street

Never has walking along a street been so much fun! Better Place have worked their magic on Folkestone Street - there's so much to see as you hop, skip and jump along the path, you will want to do it over and over again!

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Page Activities for parents / carers

Beech Grove Greenway

Beech Grove Greenway is a stretch of green space providing a route through to the city centre from Beech Grove Park. It is now more attractive, fun and safe for families with young children. Find out more here...

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Pocket Parks

There's much fun to be had in Pocket Parks thanks to Better Place. Visit Attock Park to see if you can spot the sea creature sculptures or zoom down the Mayfield Centre slide before visiting the little free library.

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Myra Shay Park

There's so much to do at Myra Shay thanks to the Better Place team. Play hide and seek in the growing forest with your little ones. Roll down the mounds. See if you can name all of the different species of trees.

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Horton Park

There's so much to do at Horton Park thanks to the Better Place team. Whizz around the sculptures and across the bridge on your trike. See what you can build in the sandpit.

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Peel Park

There's so much to do at Peel Park thanks to the Better Place team. Dare you climb up the spider's web to whoosh down the spider's slippery slide? And then clamber over the higgledy piggledy logs into the sand pit!

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Bowling Park

There's so much to do at Bowling Park thanks to the Better Place team. Whizz around the wheelie track on your trike. Play hide and seek in the sand pit huts. See which creatures you can spot in The Roughs.

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Bradford Moor Park

Are you ready to have an adventure in the natural play area? Or you can whoosh down the slide into the pond with shining mosaic fish and run around the giant duck, badger and mole before hiding in the wriggly worm!

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FAQs

Why do we only work in three wards? What projects and services do we provide? How can you volunteer with us? Find out the answers to these and many more questions...

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Project Activities with children

Better Place

The Better Place project is working with local people to create safer, healthier and fun places across the Better Start Bradford area. Where will your next adventure be?

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Page Activities with children

Evaluation

Better Start Bradford is an evidence-led programme, developed according to research into what works in supporting expectant families and families with children aged 0-3. Find out how it is being evaluated.

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Governance

Find out who makes up our Partnership Board and why our governance structure is a little bit different

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Page English language skills

Moments that Matter

A series of videos made by parents for parents. You will watch parents and carers sharing precious little moments which will help little ones' brains grow and develop.

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Community Engagement

Meet our Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team and Neighbourhood Workers - the face and voice of Better Start Bradford in the community.

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Big Little Moments

A series of animated videos featuring everyday Big Little Moments you can share with your babies and toddlers to build their brains. The little moments you share every day make a big difference.

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Page English language skills

Better Start Brushing

Better Start Brushing is an educational campaign to help improve the oral health of 0-3s in the Better Start Bradford area.

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Page English language skills

Locations

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Page News

Jobs

Come and join our amazing team, dedicated to giving children the best start in life.

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Better Place Fairy Pots Art Competition

Get your paints, pens, pencils, crayons at the ready because our Better Place project are wanting artwork from families with children aged under four years living in the Better Start Bradford area

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Volunteer as a Community Champion

Our Community Champions are simply amazing. By giving just a few hours a week, you could help us reach many more families in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

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Celebrating Two Years of Growing Together Bradford

Just over two years ago, we announced four new projects funded through our Innovation Fund, including £30,000 for ‘Growing Together Bradford’…then Covid-19 struck and we went into lockdown. Find out how Horton Community Farm and Grow to School adapted their project and kept going…

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Page Documents

Eligibility Journey

Whether you're a family looking for support or a member of the workforce looking to refer a family, start your journey here to find the right support.

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Page News

About us

Find out all about who we are, why we exist and why we're so passionate about the early years.

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Our projects

We have over 15 amazing projects for expectant families and families with children aged 0-3 in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Find the right one for you or a family you're working with.

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Volunteering

If you want new skills to help you into employment, would like to give something back, or want to put that spare time to good use, we've got a volunteering role for you.

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Campaigns

Early childhood development broken down into simple steps, with activities and resources galore for families and the workforce alike.

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Events & activities

Whether you’re expecting a baby, have children aged 0-3 or work or volunteer in health, maternity or early years, we've got an event or training session for you.

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Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Here's how you can get in touch with us Monday to Friday.

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Latest news

Find out what's new at Better Start Bradford and read real-life, heartfelt, stories from families and volunteers who have benefited from our work.

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Privacy Policy

Who we are Suggested text: Our website address is: http://bsb.:8888. Comments Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a […]

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News & Impact Stories News

New workshops from group which Royal couple met

A grandparenting group, ChildsSide’s Older Yet Wiser, who met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Bradford in 2020 have been running grandparenting workshops for grandparents of 0-3s.

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Better Place, Better Life

Annabel Mason, Senior Project Officer for Better Start Bradford’s Better Place programme, shares the extensive work that the team have been doing in the community to improve air quality.

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Five special trees for 500 Volunteer Doulas

Myra Shay recreation ground will soon be humming to the sounds of active children and families, and wildlife, thanks to a project delivered in collaboration with Better Place and Bradford Volunteer Doulas.

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Baby Week Bradford returns!

Baby Week Bradford returns from 15-21 November 2021 and aims to challenge everyone to think about why Bradford babies are everyone’s business…

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Outdoor Fun – whatever the weather!

If it’s cold outside, it can be tempting to keep your little ones warm indoors. But there are still many ways you and your young children can continue to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather!

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Parents in the Lead reaches £120,000

Eight groups are receiving a share of £16,500 thanks to the latest round of Better Start Bradford’s Parents in the Lead Activities Fund, bringing the overall total to £121,418 since the fund began in April 2017.

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Volunteering saved my life

Raymond volunteers with many different groups, but he credits Better Start Bradford with turning his life around

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The Power of Volunteering

Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is the nation’s chance to celebrate the wonderful contribution that volunteers make. In this blog we chatted to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Emma Stafford, to find out more about what inspires her to do her role at Better Start Bradford and why she believes in the power of volunteering. Emma’s role is […]

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Innovative Toddler Play Gym and Healthy Café set launched May 2021

WomenZone are delighted to announce the opening of their new play gym and healthy café from Monday 17 May 2021, thanks to funding of £99,600 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. Through lockdown, WomenZone, who are based at Hubert Street, Bradford, have been busy developing their new baby and toddler play gym called ‘The Play […]

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Launch of the new ACEs, Trauma and Resilience Strategy for Bradford District

Partners came together on 16 March 2021 to launch the new Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Trauma and Resilience Strategy for the Bradford District.  The strategy is the culmination of a desire in Bradford to move forward with becoming a trauma informed and ACE aware city.  The journey began in October 2018 when Better Start Bradford […]

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New home-visiting programme

Better Start Bradford is supporting the implementation of the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH) programme with health visitors from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT) in the Better Start Bradford area and Bradford East area. MECSH was designed in Australia to provide structured support to families at risk of poorer maternal and […]

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Meet our Neighbourhood Workers

Community engagement has always been at the heart of Better Start Bradford. Everything we deliver is for the community and has been developed with our local community. So, it made perfect sense to ensure that we had community workers based within each area that we serve in Bradford. Therefore, our Neighbourhood Project was born. By […]

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Supporting healthy oral habits from the start

Last year the University of Leeds received £109,000 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund to improve oral health for 0-3’s in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton by delivering their ‘Enhancing the HABIT’ project with the area’s Health Visitors as soon as COVID-19 allows. HABIT (Health visitors delivering Advice in Britain on Infant […]

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Better Start Bradford wins Nursery World Award

The Better Start Bradford Communications and Marketing Team is celebrating (albeit remotely) after winning Nursery World’s Online and Social Media award. They were awarded it at the online ceremony on Thursday 4 February. The judges described Better Start Bradford’s online presence as key to the programme’s work in “getting messages and information out to the […]

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Happy New Year 2021 from Alex

Happy New Year – I think we’re all ready to see the back of the last one and genuinely hope for a healthier and happier 2021. 2020 was not what any of us thought it might be, and whilst it has brought sadness and challenges we never imagined would happen in our lifetime, the Better […]

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How communities created their Better Place

We all know that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and that is because bricks and mortar are not the only things that matter when it comes to building or creating something for the community. What matters most is that local communities are involved from the very beginning to decide what is needed for their […]

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Why ‘Home-Start Better Start’ is the perfect name

In the first few weeks of lockdown, we spoke to Phoebe* who was being supported by Home-Start Better Start volunteer Amanda. Phoebe, 26, has now got to the point where she no longer feels she needs Amanda’s support. She took the time to talk to us about how she felt Amanda has helped her over the last […]

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Innovative programme to support dads receives funding of £91,000

Sharing Voices Bradford has received £91,000 to support fathers and male care givers of 0-3’s, with its Resilient Dads’ Programme, through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. Resilient Dads is a holistic personal development and parenting skills programme which aims to develop the skills and competence of fathers to support their toddlers social, emotional, and cognitive […]

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Growing Together through Lockdown

At the beginning of Spring 2020, life as we knew it changed quite dramatically for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at Better Start Bradford, we have been incredibly proud of how our family of projects and partners have come together to continue to offer support to families in need through a variety of […]

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Get ready for a boost with Baby Week Bradford 2020

Things may be a little different this year, but that is not stopping Better Start Bradford and partners from hosting Baby Week Bradford 2020. They are thrilled to announce a fun-packed and educational programme for the third year running, with more than 30 free events taking place from 9 – 13 November 2020. This year’s […]

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Building Little Conversations

24-year-old mum Sherish was very concerned about her daughter Sarah, aged two, as she was not saying many words and those that she could say were not very clear. Thanks to Better Start Bradford’s Talking Together project, which supports two-year-olds in language development through play and conversation in the family home, Sherish is now happy […]

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Being a Doula in lockdown

Jane Longthorn, 42 is a volunteer doula with Bradford Doulas and when she started supporting her fifth mum, Aneesah, COVID-19 struck. Jane was worried that she would not be able to support Aneesah during her pregnancy in the same way that she had supported her other mums. In this blog we hear how Jane’s support […]

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Developing a virtual antenatal offer during COVID-19

When our regular antenatal provision was put on hold due to COVID-19, we decided to develop virtual classes for pregnant women across the district to ensure they continued to receive professional advice and support during lockdown.  Our resident NHS Leadership Fellows, Dr Michelle Everitt and Dr Elizabeth Pal, along with our specialist midwife, Alison Brown, […]

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How perinatal support turned my life around

Nisa, 28, is mum to three children under the age of five. When her youngest son was born, she simply felt like she couldn’t face the world each day until support came in the form of Better Start Bradford’s Perinatal Support Service. The service has had such an impact on her life that she intends […]

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Talking Together during COVID-19

Mum of five, Sara Shah, 42, had thought everything was okay with her youngest son’s language development until she completed a routine questionnaire as part of the Talking Together assessment for two-year olds focusing on his speech and language development. Her young son was surrounded by lots of conversation by being part of a large […]

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University of Leeds to work with Better Start Bradford to improve oral health in 0-3’s

The University of Leeds have received £109,000 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund to improve oral health for 0-3’s in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton by delivering their ‘Enhancing the HABIT’ project with the area’s Health Visitors as soon as COVID-19 allows. HABIT (Health visitors delivering Advice in Britain on Infant Toothbrushing) […]

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Seeing the world through babies’ eyes – Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs every June to highlight the importance of babies’ emotional wellbeing and development. This year’s theme is: seeing the world through babies’ eyes. Even as tiny newborns, babies want to connect, communicate and learn, and they experience lots of different emotions. The first 1001 […]

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Being a volunteer during lockdown

During lockdown there was increased fear and anxiety around COVID-19, with some mums and mums-to-be with depression, anxiety and low mood feeling more isolated. As the Perinatal Support Service is a volunteer-led service, they have been very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers continuing to provide emotional support and a listening ear to mums over the […]

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Home-Start Better Start volunteer support during lockdown

Phoebe*, 26 had never felt so alone. She had left her family and friends in Huddersfield to move to Bradford with her husband and their two young sons aged two and three. Then COVID-19 struck! Thankfully Home-Start Better Start have been able to offer Phoebe ongoing support over the phone. Phoebe’s Story When we moved […]

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Better Start Bradford awards £314,500 to four local innovative projects

Four groups across the Better Start Bradford area are celebrating after receiving a share of £314,500 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund launched last year and invited organisations to apply for funding of up to £100,000 to run innovative and creative projects which focus on parenting and the first years of life […]

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Giving children a better start in life – Personalised Midwifery Care project

As part of the fifth-year celebrations of the A Better Start programme, Children and Young People Now interviewed representatives from each of the five sites, including our own Head of Programme, Gill Thornton, who spoke about the Personalised Midwifery Care Project delivered by the Clover Team pictured above. The foundations for a happy, healthy life […]

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An incredible turnaround

When mum, Jannat*, 40 adopted her baby daughter she thought it would all be ‘plain sailing’ as she had already raised a teenage daughter. However, when her baby daughter turned into a toddler, the tantrums began… Jannat’s story My name is Jannat and I have two daughters aged 19 and two. I adopted my youngest […]

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Celebrating collaborative working

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 […]

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How Home-Start Better Start helped me

When 35-year-old Aisha* gave birth to her second child, she felt that the world was completely against her. Her caesarian scar was not healing, her baby son would not feed, he wouldn’t sleep, and it felt like her wider family were blaming her as she wanted to breastfeed rather than bottle feed. Although her husband […]

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Better Start Bradford projects showcased during #RoyalVisitBradford January 2020

We were thrilled to showcase our work with families when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bradford on Wednesday 15 January 2020. The Royal couple visited the Khidmat Centre, BD7, where they joined grandparents, parents and their babies and toddlers from Little Dots, a music and play group funded by our Parents in the […]

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Happy New Year 2020 from Alex Spragg

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade! Since joining Better Start Bradford in April 2019 I have been getting to know the team, our projects, partners and families, and learning about the incredible work that is underway. I’ve also been getting to know Bradford better. I have recently bought a house and joined […]

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Community Star Winner 2019

With a record number of votes for 2019 (over 81,000!), our finalists eagerly awaited the announcement of the Better Start Bradford 'Outstanding Contribution to Early Years' award. Find out who won.

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Meet our Board Members – Salma Nawaz

At the heart of Better Start Bradford, we have our Partnership Board who are responsible for making the key decisions regarding delivery of the programme. The Board is made up of representatives from the public and voluntary sectors in Bradford, joined by representatives from the local community. One such community representative is Salma Nawaz – […]

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Get Ready for Baby Week Bradford 2019

After the success of the first ever Baby Week Bradford last year, Better Start Bradford and partners are thrilled to announce the programme for the second Baby Week Bradford, with more than 40 free events taking place from 4-10 November 2019. Babies are amazing. They’re born ready for everything and really deserve to be celebrated, […]

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Being Sam

People have many reasons for volunteering or working in the jobs that they do and for SHINE’s Family and Community Worker, Sam Thirkhill, her reasons are clear … she just wants to give back something to the local community. Through her own life experiences, she knows what a struggle parenting can be at times and […]

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I lost weight with Cooking For A Better Start!

Young mum, Shakila Ghafaripour, 22, certainly has her hands full with two children under the age of three. Her youngest son Rayaan is seven months old and her eldest Ayaan has just turned two. Shakila recently attended Better Start Bradford’s six-week HENRY Cooking for a Better Start programme and not only did she learn to […]

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Better Start Brushing!

Better Start Bradford have launched their latest campaign to improve oral health in 0-4 years olds in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Bradford has the highest rates of childhood tooth decay in Yorkshire, with more than 1 in 3 five-year old children having evidence of decayed or filled teeth. Poor oral health […]

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Four Doulas and a Baby!

It was widely speculated in the press that Meghan Markle may have used a doula to support her and Prince Harry with the birth of baby Archie. However, one local Bradford mum had to have the support of four volunteer doulas when she gave birth!   After being induced on the Friday night, the mum […]

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Nominations Open! Outstanding Contribution to Early Years Award

We’re delighted to have teamed up with the Telegraph and Argus and People Can for a fourth year to offer our special ‘Outstanding Contribution to Early Years’ award as part of the annual Community Stars awards! Nominations are now open and you have until Friday 4 October 2019 to submit your entry. The early years category […]

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Better Start Bradford project nominated for Nursery World award

Our Talking Together project has been shortlisted for the Working Together with Parents award in the 2019 Nursery World Awards. Talking Together, was developed by BHT Early Education and Training (BHT) as a response to the high levels of language deprivation they encountered in Bradford back in 2004, and is delivered to parents of children aged two years […]

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How HENRY helped my son eat

HENRY is an eight-week course supporting families with young children to develop healthy lifestyles. The course is also offered on a one-to-one basis for families that may struggle to attend fixed sessions. One single mum, Tasmida, 23, has really benefited from this approach, with Better Start Bradford’s Sally Teasdale delivering HENRY in Tasmida’s home. Tasmida’s […]

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Out of the darkness into the light

When Reena found out she was pregnant, she was devastated. She simply did not want to be pregnant. The baby’s father didn’t want to know and she had no-one else to support her. Her mental health began to suffer and Reena began to have dark, suicidal thoughts. Thanks to the Perinatal Support Service, Reena is […]

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Proud to be a Community Champion

Becoming a Better Start Bradford volunteer Community Champion means different things to different people, but for Ali Nahani, 54, the role has given him a real sense of purpose and direction that he did not expect. In his own words, it has given him a ‘second family’. Here’s Ali’s story My name is Ali Nahani […]

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Exploring difficult beginnings during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week takes place next week, 10-14 June 2019, with this year’s focus being ‘Difficult Beginnings’. The birth of a baby can be an exciting time, but many women and their partners can experience difficulties during pregnancy, the birth and after the baby is born.  Pre and post birth is a crucial time […]

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Volunteer with us!

We are offering people in the Better Start Bradford area the opportunity to support its work with families as a volunteer Community Champion or a Community Board Member. Community Champions volunteer by helping out at Better Start Bradford’s fun-packed family events for families with children under four and spreading the word about all the exciting […]

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Donah: Why I’m a volunteer doula

When mum of three, Donah Worsman, 37, spotted an advert for a volunteer doula with the Bradford Doulas, she jumped at the chance. Having had a difficult experience with the birth of her first child and then suffering from post-natal depression, she knew that she wanted to help women have really positive birth experiences. Donah’s […]

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Why continuity of carer matters

We were thrilled when we learned that two of our projects have been working together and supporting an isolated single mum through her birth journey, creating a continuity of carer that she had not had previously.

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Sophie’s Voice

As we say ‘au revoir’ to our Programme Administrator, Sophie, 27, as she starts her maternity leave. We thought it would be interesting to find out whether working at Better Start Bradford has had an impact on her own pregnancy journey. We asked Sophie a few questions before she starts her motherhood adventure. Tell us […]

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How to glow on the outside

Despite the grey, drizzly conditions of a late spring Bradford morning, 85 early years and health professionals learned how to shine at our first official Nurturing Knowledge event. Dr Happy – AKA Andy Cope of Art of Brilliance – challenged attendees to take on a society that does everything it can to make us believe […]

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The ‘FACE’ of Better Start Bradford

Never has a team been so appropriately named! Better Start Bradford’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team are indeed the ‘face’ of Better Start Bradford and can be found out and about in our community spreading our messaging to give babies the best start in life. We managed to catch them on a rare occasion […]

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Introducing our new Programme Director, Alex Spragg

We’re delighted to welcome Alex Spragg who joined this week as our new Programme Director. We thought we’d get to know Alex a bit better and asked her a few questions about herself. Talking about her background, Alex said: “I have over 20 years’ experience of working with children and families in a variety of […]

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The Incredible Years

Busy mum, Huma Mir, 32, certainly has her hands full with three lively sons under the age of ten. Her youngest son is two. When Huma came across the Incredible Years course, which promotes positive attachment between parents and their toddlers, she thought it would be the ideal opportunity to give her a better understanding […]

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Zara: I’m now cooking for a better start!

When Zara Imtiaz*, 33, happened to overhear a conversation about the Cooking for a Better Start project, she knew that this was just what she needed to improve her youngest son’s eating habits. Zara’s story I was sitting in the waiting room of my four year old son’s school, when I overheard a lady telling […]

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Introducing…Big Little Moments!

We’re really excited to launch our Big Little Moments campaign! Over the next year – with the help of a friendly cast of characters – we’ll showcase 15 important behaviours that make a huge difference to a child’s development. Come and meet the Big Little Moments family via short fun video animations at: www.betterstartbradford.org.uk/biglittlemoments The […]

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New naturalistic sand play zone coming to Newby Primary

Newby Primary School’s nursery and reception, at Ryan Street, are to receive a brand new sand play area this January thanks to the Better Place Project, which is part of the National Lottery funded Better Start Bradford programme. The naturalistic sand play zone, which will include equipment, sensory planting and large rocks, will encourage children […]

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My Champion Journey by Sundas Mughal

Our Community Champions are Better Start Bradford’s biggest assets. They are rooted in their communities and provide trusted peer to peer motivation around our key aim to give children the best start in our area of Bradford. One of our Community Champions, Sundas Mughal, shares her champion journey with us. Sundas’ Journey When I became […]

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£100,000 Innovation Fund Launches

National Lottery funded Better Start Bradford has a new Innovation Fund for local groups to apply for funding to run and deliver new projects to help improve the lives of children in the Better Start Bradford area of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. Between £2,500 to £100,000 is being made available as […]

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2018 Community Star winner

The votes were in and counted (over 16,000 were received) and it was finally time to announce the crème de la crème of Bradford's Community Stars and our 2018 Early Years’ winner. Find out who won.

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Meet our Board Members – Vipin Joshi

When seven-year-old Vipin Joshi arrived in this country he didn’t speak any English. Over his 45 plus years here in Bradford he’s run many successful business ventures, had a triple heart bypass, spent 14 years on Bradford Trident’s Board and developed a broad Yorkshire accent. Here Vipin shares why BD5 is the greatest place to […]

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Men in the Early Years Conference

At Better Start Bradford, we put the community at the centre of everything that we do. In July, the Men in the Early Years Conference took place in Bristol and was attended by Satnam Singh, one of our Community Board members and Ian Thorpe, one of our Programme Facilitators. Satnam’s overview The aim of this […]

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Why do children become so attached to their favourite toy?

At our Shared Learning ‘Let’s Play’ event on Thursday 21 September 2017, Professor Fraser Brown shared his knowledge and research into building baby and toddler brains through play. Professor Brown is the first Professor of Playwork in the UK and and teaches on the BA (Hons) Playwork degree at Leeds Beckett University. In this blog […]

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