A new £3.3m fund has been announced to provide mothers and young babies from BAME or poorer backgrounds the best opportunities at a healthy start in life, supporting a number of community projects in England.
Applications are now open for a share of the latest £3.3m round of the Health and Wellbeing Fund, funding projects aimed at tackling obesity, reducing smoking and improving learning among mothers and young babies.
This new round of the Health and Wellbeing Fund has been launched with the theme of ‘starting well’ to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds from preconception up to two and a half years of age.
The funding round will pay for three-year projects run by voluntary and community social enterprises (VCSEs) to help level up deprived communities and give children the best possible start in life.
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Everyone deserves to live a long, healthy life, and we’re determined to reduce the inequality that some families face.
“We’re committed to start this work from birth, and the voluntary sector have an enormous role to play in its success.
“This year we have launched the Health and Wellbeing Fund which is centred around starting well, to make sure mothers have the help they need to make the right decisions to support their health, and the health of their babies.”
The fund is open to applications from charity-run projects aimed at:
- improving perinatal mental health
- reducing the percentage of babies born with low birthweight
- increasing babies being breastfed
- obesity prevention and support
- reducing smoking or encouraging smoke-free homes
- improving learning, speech and language development
- improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease
Chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, Andrea Leadsom, added: “As Chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, I am determined that every baby gets the best start in life, and the review will look at how to achieve world-class provision of services for new families.
“The Health and Wellbeing Fund is a fantastic funding opportunity for charities spearheading perinatal mental health and I encourage them to apply.”
The Health and Wellbeing Fund is already supporting 23 social prescribing schemes and 23 children and young people’s mental health schemes that are providing important services to communities across England.
Applicants have until October 30, 2020 to apply, with the successful projects due to be announced in December 2020.