Starting Well Project to offer support for families in Batley and Dewsbury

Children and families across areas of Kirklees are receiving more support to help them start well in life, thanks to a new Government programme.

By Jessica Barton
Sunday, 17th April 2022, 2:00 pm
Locala Community Partnership chief executive, Robert Flack.

Kirklees is one of the areas chosen to be part of the national Starting Well Programme, which aims to improve the health and well-being of families, focusing on children aged under three.

In Kirklees, the scheme is being led by Locala Health and Well-being on behalf of the Thriving Kirklees partnership.

Colleagues from Locala are now working closely with community groups and organisations to develop and enhance the help and support on offer for families in the target areas of Dewsbury, Batley, Ashbrow and Dalton.

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As part of that project, Starting Well national funding has been secured to support the work of some community groups and projects including set-up costs for a botanical themed stay and play area, a school-based stay and play area, the organisation of health and well-being walks for mums and babies, providing help with targeting post-natal depression, infant mental health and general well-being and helping to provide early language and development resources to families with specific needs.

Helen Jones, spokesperson from the Starting Well Project, said it is “delighted” to be able to support “vital” work happening in these communities.

She said: “It is so important that children get the right start in life if they are to grow up healthy and happy, so we were pleased that the hard work to submit a bid was accepted and Kirklees was one of 19 areas to receive support from the national Starting Well programme.

“During the pandemic we have seen the impacts on our communities in terms of health and well-being, both for young children and their families, and these projects are helping support people either in their own homes or in the heart of those communities.

“As part of the Starting Well programme, we are continuing to work with each group as they look to ensure their projects can be sustainable into the future, and also working with other groups and organisations to enhance their work too.”

The Starting Well Project runs until March 2023 and aims to increase take-up of early years family services in key communities and to enhance access to services and opportunities for families.

Community groups and organisations who are interested in finding out more about the Starting Well Programme can contact the team at [email protected]