Partnership is at the heart of our work to promote healthier and more active family lives and communities – by empowering people to identify their own priorities and goals and the strategies to achieve them.
Parents are universally positive about the mutual support they experience during HENRY parent groups and the value of sharing ideas with each other – but at the end of the course they don’t want to slip back into old habits and often ask “what next?”
We are always looking for funding opportunities to help us support parents and other community members as agents of change within their own local communities. We recognise that they are the experts on local needs and are best placed to support and engage other local families in activities to promote a healthy start in life.
Here are two examples of how, with additional project funding, we have been able to support local communities to promote healthier lifestyles and counter the local obesogenic environment.
Healthy Start Mentors are trained and committed volunteers, drawn from their local community, who support vulnerable or isolated families to provide a healthy start in life for babies and young children. Volunteer mentors use the HENRY 1-to-1 programme to provide structured individual support over 8-10 weekly sessions in the family’s home or local community venue. The project addresses health inequalities by overcoming barriers that families may experience, such as language or cultural barriers. Volunteers are from different ethnic backgrounds and speak community languages so that they are able to tailor support to parents’ needs. Programme content is the same as our evidence-based group programme which independent published peer-reviewed studies have shown results in improved nutrition, physical activity, emotional well-being and parenting skills (Willis, Pediatric Obesity, 2013).
Better Start Bradford is an exciting 10 year Big Lottery funded programme aimed at improving outcomes for children through prevention and early intervention projects with 0-3s and their families. BSB is a community partnership, ensuring the community voice is at the heart of what they do.
HENRY’s evidence based family programme means it is well placed to help BSB parents develop a healthy lifestyle for their young children and family.
Using integrated working, intervening early and involving parents in developing and delivering projects, it is expected that approximately 20,000 children and their families will be reached over 10 years.
Working Together for a Healthy Start is an exciting new project funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. HENRY is working in partnership with Leeds City Council, Sheffield City Council and Telford and Wrekin Council to improve the lives of children aged 0 to 5 who are at risk of obesity. The project will help us develop a volunteer programme so that families can access HENRY with 1-to-1 support from a volunteer. Our focus is working with disadvantaged communities and people who are the least likely to engage with statutory services. Working Together for a Healthy Start builds on the previous successful Parent Champions project.
HENRY’s evidence based family programme specialises in helping parents develop a healthy lifestyle for their young children and family as a whole. By involving volunteers we can reach families that would not otherwise be able to access 1-to-1 guidance and support.
Working Together for a Healthy Start started on 1st September 2016 and will continue until 31st August 2020.