I hope you are having the best beginning to 2016.

I’ve was lucky enough to start the year feeling refreshed and revitalised thanks to some precious holiday time with family and friends.

I’m mindful that not everyone finds this time of year easy and that there are many people who struggle in silence for months or even years.  More than 20% of women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and/or in the first year after their baby is born. The sooner women get the help they need the better the outcome for them and their children.  That’s why we’re committed to completing and launching our series of maternal mental health films designed to drive positive change. The series of films, called “Out of the Blue” will launch in the spring following further input from parents and professionals.

Exciting fundraising events in 2016

We are delighted to announce that Hunters law firm has nominated Best Beginnings as its Charity of the year throughout 2016! We're currently working with Hunters on an exciting fundraising events calendar and will be updating the website soon - so please keep an eye on my blog and I'll let you know when the list is live - we'd love it if you join us! 

British 10k run

Hunters will be joining Best Beginnings for Team Best Beginnings for the British 10k run on Sunday July 10th. Please email abigail@bestbeginnings.org.uk to find out more and book your place. There is nothing like a fitness goal to get us moving on these dark winter mornings - to be inspired you might like to look at the 10k page and video from 2015!

London to Paris by bike - my personal challenge and how you can be part of it

As I write this newsletter late at night and following another long day at my desk and in meetings I’ve made a decision;

It is time for me to set myself a personal challenge and raise vital funds for Best Beginnings.

Here is my challenge to you and me:

If ten people reading this newsletter decide to join Team Best Beginnings to cycle London to Paris in late September to raise funds for the charity then I’ll join you!

I’ve done the bike ride twice before, once with a great group including Best Beginnings’ Patron James Sainsbury and once with lots of fabulous actors and midwives. Both trips were AWESOME but they were years ago.....   

My work/life balance isn’t what it should be and also exercise plays second fiddle to my family so I’m currently hideously out of shape. If I can get fit enough by the autumn to cycle London to Paris than pretty much anyone can.

It will just take ten of you to say “yes” and I’ll commit fully to the ride and my training will have to begin!  My lovely sons have offered to join me on weekend training bike-rides so I’ve no excuse!

It would be WONDERFUL if you can help make this happen and/or forward this link onto anyone you know whom you think would like to be involved. If we get a team of 25 then we can have our own bespoke event. A team from Hunters are planning to be part of the ride.  It would be great if you as an individual, family or choose to join me.

Other events

If you fancy setting yourself a challenge for Best Beginnings and running and cycling isn’t your thing, fear not, there are lots of other options. For example, you can join Team Best Beginnings for a Sky Dive! Email: Abigail@bestbeginnings.org.uk to find out more. Whatever challenge you embark upon we’ll help you set up your own fundraising page and support you in your fundraising efforts. Together we can make a difference for future generations.

New films in Baby Buddy

Over 50,000 people have now downloaded our Baby Buddy app!

We have recently uploaded 20 new films to Baby Buddy and another 40 films will be going live in the next week or two! Thank you to all the mums, dads and healthcare professionals who took part in the film-making, and for giving us feedback on the films.  The new films can also be viewed on the web version of the app.

Healthcare professionals can:
Order FREE Baby Buddy leaflets and posters
Get your local service details featured in the Baby Buddy app for FREE
Get support for using Baby Buddy in professional practice

Launch of the Best Beginnings Foundation  

We got the New Year off to a great start with the launch of the Best Beginnings Foundation.

The Best Beginnings Foundation will connect us more closely with our major donors and provide us with the steady, supportive building blocks that are essential to create the solid foundations for generations to come.

We have big plans for the future. We plan to continue to grow, innovate, collaborate and deliver on our UK wide mission to tackle inequality in child health, and support the health and wellbeing of parents and their children.

We are recruiting a team of consultant facilitators!

In order that Baby Buddy and Best Beginnings’ other resources are used in the most effective way and have maximum impact, we have developed a training and engagement package that supports the thorough embedding of our resources into local care pathways.  We have been developing this work over the last three years and have been commissioned to deliver these programmes throughout England mainly by Local Authority Public Health Teams and CCGs.  The demand for this work is increasing and therefore we would like to build a flexible, regionally based team of highly skilled facilitators to support us in the delivery our embedding programmes. 

If you are interested in joining our team and supporting us in helping every child to have the best start in life, please see the details here

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has generously donated, set up a regular payment, or is one of our ongoing fundraisers.  Every donation makes a difference.  Last year we achieved an impressive 95p in every pound received being spent on our charitable activities.

To help us reach even more families please donate online or text Best01 £5 to 70070.

Also, if you want to support Best Beginnings without spending a penny more than you would normally spend then please download the Baby Buddy app.

Wishing you, your friends and family a happy and healthy new year!

Warmest wishes