Leaping into Spring As ever, there’s been lots happening here at Best Beginnings. Last week we received some excellent news: we have successfully secured funding for an evaluation of Small Wonders. This means that we are able to employ a full time professional at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Kings College Hospital to oversee the implementation and evaluation of a change programme towards more family-centered care using the Small Wonders DVD as a key resource. This week we launched the next stage of the Small Wonders project at an exclusive lunch at the delightful Cheyne Walk Brasserie in Chelsea. Here some supporters were able to meet parents of special babies who have participated in the filming for the DVD. Read more about the event here. February was an incredibly busy month and began with a couple of days in Cardiff, attending an active learning meeting with Chief Execs of charities that I meet with quarterly to share ideas and learn from each other. At our most recent session we focused on how we are all adapting to the current economic downturn. While I was in Wales I also met with Susan Sky, the long standing Infant Feeding Lead for the Welsh Assembly Government. It was great to meet with Sue and update each other on our respective work streams. In late February, I was given the opportunity to speak at The Big Society in Practice conference. Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, gave a key address at the conference about the concept of the Big Society and his vision for how it could work. I took a session in the afternoon on the power of collaboration to drive change. That same week, Dr Liz Kirk, our new Policy and Development Manager, and I attended a meeting at the Westminster Health Forum where Prof. Michael Marmot and others spoke about the health inequalities and the importance of early intervention. The event was expertly chaired by Prof Alan Maryon-Davis whom I look forward to meeting again next week. I recently chaired an event at Somerset House which the Royal College of Midwives held together with the Department of Health and CPHVA. This was a really important seminar where key findings from the Department of Health’s Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond project were disseminated and focus was placed on how best to support women and men in their transition to parenthood. The excellent speakers at the event included Prof. Mitch Blair, Kate Billingham from the Department of Health and Professor Jane Barlow and Dr Crispin Day. Also in February and early March I’ve had meetings with potential trustees enabled team action planning around our strategic development, had a Board Meeting and have been working with Dr Liz Kirk on the effective distribution of our new Small Wonders DVD. We’re also embarking on a new fundraising drive, and have been recruiting new fundraising volunteers – do get in touch if this is something you think you’d like to be involved in. It really has been a busy but effective few weeks – hopefully the next few will be just as productive!