Happy New Year to everyone! 2012 has got off to a flying start for Best Beginnings.

Our 2010-11 Trustees' report & Accounts have been published not only in a gorgeous print version created in-house but also in a state-of-the-art online version. Heartfelt thanks to Jinne Stiksma and Andrew Nash from OpenUmbrella for their pro bono creation. You can check out both versions by clicking here. I am really pleased with the figures - our income grew by 24.2% on last year's figure and our expenditure on charitable activity also reached an all time high at 86.6%. This is due to a lot of very hard work by the team here at Best Beginnings and our wonderful network of supporters. I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to all of you for going that extra mile for UK babies.

As many people may have heard, we are working on a series of mobile apps to support mums and dads in their transition to parenthood. This is an enormously exciting project that stands to be a very effective intervention. The apps will complement and enhance current and future projects and campaigns with a self-sustaining mechanism that will reach large numbers of parents with high quality validated information. The first expert stakeholder meeting took place yesterday morning at the RCPCH with experts from a number of Royal Colleges and academic institutions attending and giving very helpful input and feedback. Our apps will make free, high quality, interactive, portable healthcare information available to the 600,000 parents who have a baby in the UK each year with a particular focus on engaging younger parents from more challenging backgrounds. Using the words of Prof. Sir Michael Marmot, we are once again taking a "Proportionate Universalism" approach. Watch this space for more information!

Yesterday evening we hosted our first Best Beginnings Ball Committee meeting and plans are underway for hosting a very special event in November. 2012 is going to be a big year for Best Beginnings, and the Ball will be a perfect way to celebrate our 5th birthday and raise much needed funds to propel the charity forward to enable us to have ever greater impact on child health across the UK. If you'd like to find out more about the Ball and how you can help us make it an outstanding success we'd love to hear from you. The Best Beginnings family is growing and there are so many ways to get involved, please just go to the "Get Involved" tab on our website.

In the next two months we are moving to a new office, which is surpringsly inexpensive considering it is near Kings Cross and gives us four times the office space we have at the moment. We will soon be welcoming two new members of staff: an Administrator who will support all things operational and our office systems, and a Project Coordinator who will support our Policy & Development Manager.

After three years of hard work, the Small Wonders project is in its final phase of development. The DVD will be launched to neonatal staff in April and launched to parents on neontal units across the UK in June. We have recruited more than 260 Small Wonders Champions in neonatal units across the UK. Our Champions will support the rollout and implementation of the Small Wonders DVD. In April we will be sending out DVDs to our Champions who have sent back their Planning Form for them to share with staff on their unit before the June launch. Each unit wil be sent enough free DVDs for all neonatal staff and to give to every family that has a sick or premature baby over the next year. Along with the Small Wonders DVD and the Champions programme and training we are developing for neonatal staff, we have two robust evaluations underway.

The Small Wonders project has gone from strength to strength and is the biggest thing Best Beginnings has done to-date. Everyone involved should be very proud of themselves. A huge thank you goes to the 15 families whom we have filmed with for more than a year. Their involvement will underpin the success of this crucial project.

There are many other things happening that I'd love to update you on but this blog is at risk of getting too long. I look forward to updating you again in the near future with more exciting developments.

Very best wishes,

Alison Baum