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Project information

First Babies Support Group

Becoming a parent can be a daunting experience and one of life's biggest challenges. Strong attachments made in the early years can significantly improve outcomes for their future. We want to fund our existing First Babies Group and replicate it to support more parents in new areas.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire logo
  • Need


    First-time parents often find themselves isolated at home. The challenges of parenting a new baby can be exhausting and unpredictable and can undermine confidence. The emotional impact of this situation can be detrimental to both the parents and the new baby, resulting in difficulties in forming the early bonds which offer stability in the child's future. The mental health of the new parents may also suffer and this, in turn, may have an effect of family and friends, and the wider community.


    Our established First Babies Group in Didcot supports babies from birth to 15 months and their parents. The group runs 2 hours per week, 48 weeks of the year and provides;
    -a friendly, non-judgmental environment for new parents
    -the chance to share experiences
    -stimulating and age-appropriate activities to engage the babies and parents, planned by an experienced worker
    -opportunities to join First Aid and Baby Massage courses
    -monthly visits by a Staff Nurse

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Continue delivery of the existing First Babies Group in Ladygrove, Didcot.


    » Provide a 2 hour drop-in session weekly to include parental support, age-appropriate play activities for babies and refreshments.
    » Provide at least one Baby Massage and one First Aid course during the year.

    What success will look like

    We aim to deliver support to at least 100 families over the course of the year.

    Aim 2

    Create another First Babies Group to meet demands arising from new housing development in the area.


    » Secure staffing and venue for new First Babies Group.
    » Provide a 2 hour drop-in session weekly to include parental support, age-appropriate play activities for babies and refreshments.
    » Provide at least one Baby Massage and one First Aid course during the year.

    What success will look like

    We will be operating a new support group within 3 months of receiving funding and support at least 60 families in the first year.

  • Impact


    - Provide support to vulnerable / isolated families
    - Families will access other community services
    - Outcomes for children will improve through stronger relationships
    - Parents will report feeling more confident in parenting

    MESH (monitoring and evaluation system) will allow to count the number of families supported. Our group worker will collect regular feedback from families to evaluate the group and a "leaver's questionnaire" will ask parents about how useful it has been as they move on.


    The quality of the support/activities is maintained through an experienced Group Worker.We have robust recruitment procedures in place, should we need to replace our existing group worker or employ a 2nd group worker.Lack of suitable premises would prevent the group(s) from happening and we have procedures in place for renting venues. Finally, lack of attendance might force closure of groups and we will mitigate for this by building relationships with the community and health care professionals.


    We will provide an initial report 4 months into the project showing that we have set the project in motion and how we have done that. We will provide an evaluation of the entire project in December 2018 to include beneficiary numbers reached, user feedback and outcomes achieved.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £17,277

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,634 Group Worker Salary for Group Worker to set up, plan and run 2 groups
      £5,555 Senior Organiser Salary of Senior Organiser to support Group Worker and families
      £2,930 Admin Administrative Support for two groups
      £200 Volunteer Expenses Travel expenses for volunteer helpers for 2 groups
      £300 Resources Toys and equipment for 2 groups
      £200 Christmas Party Cost to host all families at Annual Christmas Party
      £672 Refreshments £7 per week per group, 48 weeks per year
      £1,786 Venue Hire Hire charges for 2 venues, 48 weeks per year
  • Background


    Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire operates from our office in Didcot and can accept referrals from families who generally live in the areas covered by South Oxfordshire District Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council. It is a largely rural area which brings huge challenges around isolation and access to services. Large numbers of new homes are being built across the area bringing an increase in the number of young families at a time when many children's centres have been lost.


    First-time parents will benefit. The group is promoted locally, particularly through health visitors in the early weeks. By offering a relaxed, supportive and friendly group we aim to reduce isolation and improve mental well-being at a time when parents are vulnerable. Babies will benefit from improved bonds with their parents and interaction with other babies. More widely, beneficiaries will include extended family members and the wider community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have an established 28-year history of working with vulnerable families in our area. We understand the needs of young families, particularly following the closure of Children's Centres. The existing group provides a proven foundation on which to base a second group. Our Group Worker brings a wealth of experience in childcare and will evaluate the groups on a regular basis to meet the needs of the attendees. In addition, families can also access our 1:1 home-visiting service if required.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rhiannon McCobb

    Senior Organiser for the scheme - would oversee the welfare of families, support Group Worker and Volunteers

    Doreen McNulty

    Chair of Trustees - monitoring this project within the strategic plan of the scheme.

    Dawn Robinson

    Fundraiser - responsible for securing pledgers and donors for this project and seeking funding for the future sustainability of the project.

    Janet McIlvennie

    Office Manager - responsible for the admin support / evaluation data collected to monitor effectiveness of project and outcomes for families.