The A Better Start partnerships have been awarded a Locality Award for the inclusion of Infant Mental Health awareness in their work.

The award was presented to Sarah Gibbs, Head of Funding at Big Lottery Fund and Strategic Lead for A Better Start during a ceremony at the PIP UK Inaugural National Conference 2016 in London on 9th June 2016, by the charity’s Chairman and former Children’s Minister, Tim Laughton MP. 

The award coincides with the UK’s first Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, founded by PIP UK, the Parent Infant Partnership charity. Infant Mental Health Awareness Week ran from 6-10 June 2016.

PIP UK was set up by Andrea Leadsom MP for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Conception to Age 2: The first 1001 Days. PIP UK facilitates the 1001 Critical Days Campaign in partnership with over 100 other organisations, who have pledged their support to give every baby the best possible start in life.  PIP UK believes that the first 1001 days of a child’s life are key to breaking cycles of poverty, inequality and deprivation.

The award was subsequetly presented by Sarah Gibbs to Michaela Howell, Director of Better Start Bradford at a recent Learning and Development event in Bradford in recognition of the work of the five local A Better Start sites and will be awarded again to another of the five ABS sites at the next event in Nottingham.

A Better Start is a £215 million investment by the Big Lottery Fund, launched in October 2012 to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable babies and children in England. The five local area partnerships are located within: Bradford; Blackpool; Lambeth; Nottingham; and Southend on Sea.

The three key developmental outcome areas for the A Better Start programme are: diet and nutrition; communication and language; and social and emotional development.