Participating Project

Project information

Reducing child health inequalities in the UK

Best Beginnings aims to give every child in the UK the healthiest start in life by acting as a catalyst for change. We create innovative, collaborative and evidence-based resources that enable families and healthcare professionals to be more effective in reducing child health inequalities.

Best Beginnings began work in 2006, since then we have reached over 3 million families but there is still much to be done to give every child in the UK the healthiest start in life.

Charity information: Best Beginnings

Best Beginnings logo
  • Need

    Need

    In the UK there are huge child health inequalities; socio-economic status and ethnicity are key factors. A quarter of all deaths under the age of one in the UK would be prevented if there were no child health inequalities. These inequalities lead to premature birth, serious illnesses, developmental disorders and deaths in early infancy. They have lifelong effects - children from more challenging backgrounds are more likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, cancer and mental health issues.

    Solution

    The way mothers, fathers and other caregivers nurture and support children in the early years is among the most decisive factors for healthy child development, with lifelong and intergenerational benefits for health, productivity and social cohesion.
    We work from the evidence-base to focus on the areas of health inequalities where we can make a real difference. Baby Buddy provides parents with knowledge and empowerment to look after their own and their babies mental and physical health.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Ensure parents are supported to make positive choices that improve their children’s health.


    Activities

    » Create dynamic, evidence-based resources which use the journeys and experiences of real families to inform and educate parents.
    » Provide healthcare professionals with the same resources to improve their knowledge and emphasise the importance of family-centred care.
    » Train healthcare professionals to use the resources to effectively support families.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a measurable increase in parents understanding of the part they can play in their baby's care.


    Aim 2

    Promote equal access to health services for families with babies.


    Activities

    » Provide resources, information and support to all families in the UK with babies.
    » Whilst providing resources to all families, target those who need the most support.
    » Change and challenge attitudes and behaviours by overcoming the prejudices and misconceptions that foster inequalities in health care.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an evaluated increase in the knowledge of healthcare professionals and increased access to resources that empower them to support parents.


    Aim 3

    Increase public awareness of the health issues affecting mothers and children.


    Activities

    » Collaborate with charities and healthcare professionals to ensure evidence-based information and high quality services are available to all.
    » Lobby decision makers in government to ensure their awareness and understanding of child health inequalities and their consequences.

    What success will look like

    Success will be productive partnerships with other charities working in this area and effective lobbying of government to ensure healthcare inequalities are a priority.


    Aim 4

    Support parents who are suffering from mental health illness.


    Activities

    » Provide resources so that parents can understand their mental health problems and stigma is removed.
    » Support professionals working with parents suffering from mental health illness.
    » Signpost parents to service providers and other organisations. In addition, to provide a 24/7 Crisis Text Line for parents needing help.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by parents reporting that they are seeking advice and they are feeling better.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Our work increases understanding and, changes attitudes and behaviours. We have reached 3 million families to date: ‘From bump to breastfeeding’ – rigorous, independent evaluation has shown increased breastfeeding rates. ‘Small Wonders’, created a sea-change in non-clinical care for premature and sick babies and created measurable change in the knowledge and practice of family-centred care. Baby Buddy has provided resources to support the most disadvantaged parents across the UK.

    Risk

    The risks of our work are that it does not: a) speak to and empower parents, b) help healthcare professionals to be more effective, c) complement the existing work of the NHS and other charities. To ensure that all our projects do achieve these things we undertake extensive focus group work with parents, ensure that healthcare professionals are stakeholders in the development of new resources and work in partnership with medical Royal Colleges and other charities.

    Reporting

    Donors to this project will be kept informed through our website where they can watch film clips about our work. Donors will also receive regular updates via newsletter and email, detailing our ongoing progress and forthcoming activities, allowing them to see how our work is evolving and developing

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £50,000 Baby Buddy To support 3,300 additional families through Baby Buddy

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Income from the government (restricted) £106,803 Guaranteed
    Trusts & Foundations (unrestricted) £45,000 Guaranteed
    Trusts & Foundations (restricted) £136,051 Conditional
  • Background

    Location

    Best Beginnings' work is UK wide but particularly aims to target those parents and families from lower socio-economic backgrounds and communities who are most affected by child health inequalities. A child born in a poorer part of Birmingham is five times more likely to die in infancy than one born in an affluent part of Bracknell Forest. Our work aims to break cycles of disadvantage by reaching audiences who may not otherwise engage effectively with healthcare information and services.

    Beneficiaries

    Our work benefits present and future parents, families, healthcare professionals and babies in the UK. The lives of 650,000 babies born in the UK each year can be improved by our work. We’ve already reached 3 million families since November 2006. Please help us give Britain’s most vulnerable babies a healthier start.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The work of Best Beginnings is unique. We work collaboratively, from the evidence-base and have a track record of using film and technology to inform parents and healthcare professionals and change attitudes and behaviour. Best Beginnings has the credibility, confidence and ambition to deliver new and pioneering approaches to improve children’s health. We make the most of the window of opportunity between preconception and three years of age where foundations for a healthy childhood are laid.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Parents

    Best Beginnings' work is empowering parents to make informed decisions.

    Healthcare Professionals

    Best Beginnings work is giving healthcare professionals the tools they need to advise and support families.

    Donors

    They are enabling Best Beginnings to create effective resources and, evaluate and improve them.

    Best Beginnings Team

    We are turning your donations into effective, tested and practical means of reducing child health inequalities.

I believe the [Small Wonders] DVD will make a difference to people’s lives. It will empower people in what is a really difficult time.

Sinem, whose twin boys were born at 28 weeks