On Monday 18 February, an initial briefing was held about the Big Lottery Fund's new £165m Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start initiative.
The intiative aims to deliver a step change in preventative approaches in pregnancy and the first three years of life to improve life chances of babies and young children.
Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start
The programme will invest £30-50million in each of 3-5 areas across England for 8-10 years and will, therefore, be highly competitive. Each area will run a variety of initiatives to improve outcomes for children in three key areas of development: social and emotional development; communication and language development; and nutrition. The Big Lottery Fund have made it clear that they are looking for a 'systems change' in the way that local health, public services and voluntary sector work together to put prevention in early life at the heart of service delivery and practice.
For more information: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/betterstart
The aim of the briefing was to begin to engage organisations in discussions around local issues, unmet needs and who else needs to be around the table from across the public and voluntary sector. It was also necessary to decide the geographical focus areas and select the Voluntary and Community sector (VCS) lead organisation for the programme.
In line with the particular indicators required by the Big Lottery Fund, it was decided that the focus of the programme will be on the following wards: Charnwood, New Parks and Spinney Hills. However, Leicestershire County Council offered a clear and welcome commitment to support the initiative, especially due to the links with the Supporting Leicestershire Families programme. The opportunities for shared learning were emphasised and this would build on the existing positive relationships.
Barnardos were selected as the Voluntary sector lead after a clear process was identified and agreed.
On Friday 22 February, Leicester City Council with Barnardos used both the discussion outcomes and compiled data to submit an expression of interest to the Big Lottery Fund. If successful, Barnardos will lead a Stage One application with a cross-sector partnership to demonstrate how our region will come together to deliver a step change to improve the live chances of babies and young children in the target areas.
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