New £3.3 million fund to give deprived areas the best start in life

By - Integrated Care Journal
New £3.3 million fund to give deprived areas the best start in life

Applications are now open for a share of a £3.3 million fund to support community projects in England aimed at tackling obesity, reducing smoking and improving learning among mothers and young babies.

Mothers and babies are to benefit the most from the new £3.3 million pound fund from the Government. The fund seeks to give those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life.

The announcement is part of the Health and Wellbeing Fund launched with the theme of ‘Starting Well’ and hopes to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from (BAME) backgrounds – from preconception to up to 2 and a half years of age.

The Government intends the fund to support three-year projects run by voluntary and community social enterprises (VCSE’s) to help ‘level up’ deprived communities and give children a better start in life.

Public Health Minister Jo Churchill commented: “Everyone deserves to live a long healthy life, and we’re determined to reduce the inequality that some families face. ” 

The fund is open to applications from charity run projects aimed at:

  • Improving perinatal mental health
  • Reducing the percentage of babies born with low birth weight
  • Increasing babies being breastfed
  • Obesity prevention and support
  • Reducing smoking or smoke-free homes
  • Improving learning, speech and language development
  • Improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease

The Health and Wellbeing Fund is already well established, supporting 23 social prescribing schemes and 23 children and young people’s mental health schemes across England.

Chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, Andrea Leadsom, stated: “I am determined that every baby gets the best start in life, and the review will look at how to achieve the world-class provision of services for new families."

Applications are open until midday on Friday 30th October 2020 and the successful projects are to be announced In December.

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