Parents and Communities in the Driving Seat – learning from A Better Start

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Parents and Communities in the Driving Seat – learning from A Better Start

About this Event

		Parents and Communities in the Driving Seat – learning from A Better Start image

Involving and empowering parents and communities is fundamental to all that the 10-year A Better Start programme does, and we’ve learned the importance of recognising the expertise of families in their own unique lives.

The National Children’s Bureau, on behalf of The National Lottery Community Fund and the five A Better Start Partnerships, is delighted to invite you to this virtual conference to learn how A Better Start partnerships are working with local parents to develop, test and embed ways to improve their children’s diet and nutrition, social and emotional development, and speech, language and communication.

Free online conference - #ParentsInTheDrivingSeat

Thursday 25th March 2021, 9.30am – 4pm

This event will help you understand the value of delivering services with, not to, service users, ensuring the support you provide fully addresses their needs.

Through a mix of interactive workshops and keynote sessions, you will have the opportunity to hear directly from A Better Start parents, practitioners and directors as experts in co-production on how families are contributing to changing systems through:

• Peer engagement and a peer-led workforce

• Peer-to-peer support networks

• Parent and community-led funding initiatives

• Parent and community involvement in leadership, decision-making and governance

This event will be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders within and outside of A Better Start, including policy makers, practitioners, public and professional bodies and key voluntary and community sector organisations.

We would be delighted if you could join us at what we hope will be a valuable learning experience for all.


Breakout Sessions

You will have an opportunity to attend two of these breakout sessions on the day. Please indicate when registering your preferred option for the morning and afternoon sessions.

Breakout 1: Blackpool Better Start - A Community Development Approach to Supporting Early Child Development.

This session will demonstrate how the Blackpool Better Start partnership has taken a broad and diverse approach to engaging with and involving parents and communities. The workshop will outline the overarching approach and underpinning values and cover the following key areas:

• Ensuring parents’ voices are central to decision making across the partnership

• Joint commissioning and enhancing the way services are delivered

• Embedding a sustainable community structure

• Growing a workforce through volunteering, training and apprenticeships

• The Community Connector role (a Harvard Frontier of Innovation)

• Embedding a ‘Common language’

• Campaigns - using community consultation and research to change the narrative

• Promoting the role of Dads

• Our investment in community parks

• Participatory Budgeting

Breakout 2: Better Start Bradford - Making a Better Place

In this session, you will hear the story of how parents in Better Start Bradford made sure we co-created spaces for their children to play, to walk, to breathe and enjoy. We will show how parents are helping to design a Better Place and make green spaces for our 0-3s, how they showed us where to look, and how we are jointly building a Better Place.

Breakout 3: Lambeth Early Action Partnership - The LEAP Cake of Co-production! Exploring the key ingredients for effective co-productive working.

Co-productive working is the backbone of the Better Start work; stakeholders and parents are working together to develop and test effective approaches to delivery and learning which sees families thrive, and babies and children having the best start in life.

After a brief introduction to some of LEAP’s co-production work and with support from LEAP parents and staff, participants will be split into groups in order debate, discuss and ultimately agree on a recipe card for effective co-production.

Breakout 4: Small Steps Big Changes - From the community for the community: How we have developed a paid peer workforce.

In this session, SSBC and their commissioned delivery partners will give an overview on how conversations with parents, communities and professionals led to the development of a co-produced Family Mentor Service in Nottingham. They will also share key learning around recruitment to this new paid peer workforce and how it is influenced by lived experience and community knowledge, how the service has become established in the four SSBC wards of Nottingham in the past five years and the impact it is having on the system, families and the communities it works within and with.

Breakout 5: A Better Start Southend - YourFamily – a live case study

YourFamily exists to create the conditions where relationships can thrive between families, the community, and organisations in Southend. It will strengthen families’ and community members’ abilities and opportunities to support and learn from each other, and for families to access the right help and information they need, when they need it. It will reduce the number of families reaching crisis-point: working with them to develop their strengths and resilience from before their children are born and walking with them throughout their parenting journey.

It is a co-designed project between statutory service providers, volunteer groups and parents of Southend, with the support of Dartington Service Design Lab.


About A Better Start

A Better Start is a ten-year (2015-2025), £215 million programme set-up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The five ‘A Better Start’ Partnerships are based in Blackpool, Bradford, Lambeth, Nottingham and Southend, and are supporting families to give babies and very young children the best possible start in life, through a focus on improving early childhood development outcomes.

We will send out joining details, agenda and further information prior to the event.

All sessions will be recorded and published on the National Lottery Community Fund's website.

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