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What is Better Start Bradford?

Better Start Bradford (BSB) is an exciting 10 year Big Lottery-funded programme to improve outcomes for children through prevention and early intervention projects with 0-3 year olds and their families in Better Start areas of Bradford.

BSB aims to reduce health inequalities by helping the whole family adopt a healthier lifestyle to ensure that babies and young children have the best start in life.

Why is health and nutrition important in Better Start Bradford?

Around 1,430 babies are born each year within the Better Start Bradford areas of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. 1 in 10 children in the UK are already obese by the time they start school with many more overweight. These rates are highest in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and once obesity is established, evidence has shown it continues into adulthood in the vast majority of cases. Epidemiological research points to the overwhelming need for strategies in the early years to prevent child obesity.

What are the aims of HENRY Better Start Bradford?

HENRY is working in partnership with BSB to support parents to make positive changes to the lifestyle of the whole family. We are working on the ground in BSB areas, recruiting and training community volunteers and running family programmes for parents in Children’s Centres and other venues across the Better Start areas – in Bowling & Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

Parents can join HENRY’s Healthy Families group programme, an 8 week intervention for parents and carers of babies and young children to support the whole family to develop healthy lifestyles. For parents who may find the prospect of joining a group daunting, or where families would benefit from more tailored support, we are able to offer a Healthy Families programme on a 1-to-1 basis – where trained practitioners support individual families. More information is available here.

HENRY’s evidence-based family programme means it is well placed to help parents living in the BSB area develop a healthy lifestyle for their young children and family.

HENRY is also delivering the Cooking for a Better Start programme for Bradford Better Start. Cooking for a Better Start gives families the skills and knowledge they need to cook straightforward, healthy food at home. It has been designed to use a minimum of equipment and for each meal to be cost effective. Each session includes a short discussion and information session covering a different topic followed by time for cooking together. The topics covered include portion sizes, food labelling, food safety and budgeting for food. Sessions are 2 hours and the first session includes times for the group to discuss and prioritise what they want to learn to cook.

How will we know if HENRY is making a difference?

HENRY’s Healthy Families programmes are based on a sound academic framework which was originally commissioned by the Department of Health. HENRY has a strong evidence base with effectiveness publications in several peer reviewed journals. Robust evaluation is an integral part of all our training and interventions.

We will evaluate the impact of our programmes in Bradford in partnership with the Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub.

More information about Better Start Bradford can be found at

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children and parents playing with parachute
How HENRY supports a healthy start

HENRY adopts a unique and holistic approach to working with families

youngn children enjoying fresh fruit
Community engagement & development

Drawing on and building the capacity of local communities to support ongoing change

HENRY in bradford feature
HENRY in Bradford

Better Start Bradford works with families to help give children the best possible start in life

BSB case study
HENRY: A Better Start case study

A National Lottery best practice case study of HENRY in Bradford