The Best Beginnings team and I have been working long and hard in the last couple of months because we have several important projects all at key stages in development/delivery.  All of this is possible thanks to the great support Best Beginnings receives for what we do and aim to achieve.

Since my last post we have had three major events take place, as well as moving full steam ahead with our Baby Buddy app.

Small Wonders Champions Day

On the 4th of June we held our first of four Department of Health funded Small Wonders Champions Days at the Coin Street Community Centre in South London. Myself and Tina Pollard, the Small Wonders Facilitator, led the day which enabled over 50 delegates from across the country to come together and discuss the Small Wonders project and how to maximise its impact across the country.

Sinem, who you may remember from the Small Wonders DVD and the Big Lottery: Better Start video, kicked us off with a truly thought-evoking presentation which set a brilliant tone for the rest of the day. It was wonderful to hear from so many different people, parents and healthcare professionals, and find out the positives of the Small Wonders Project and also the hurdles some Champions are facing trying to embed it antenatally and in discharge planning.  It was great reading the feedback from the day and knowing how helpful the delegates found it.

There will be three more Small Wonders Champions Days this year, the next being in Bristol on September 9th. Here is a link to the article on the day filled with photos and also information on how to attend our next events. It would be great to see you there.

Maternal Mental Health Stakeholders Day

The very next day we were all back at the Coin Street Community Centre, who were lovely hosts and made us feel well looked after, for our Maternal Mental Health Stakeholders Day for our Maternal Mental Health Film Project.

David King, the Project Lead, did a wonderful job of bringing together a hugely diverse group of over 40 stakeholders that included; community support groups, nurses, midwives, health visitors and parents, to name but a few. Some had worked with people dealing with mental health; some had their own experience of it and all willing to be incredibly open.

The aim of the day was to tell the Stakeholder group about the project and then to listen to parents and professionals and gather ideas on the topics and themes for the maternal mental health films. All the Best Beginnings team who attended came away saying how privileged they felt to be a part of that day. Please take a look at the photos to see how the day went and how you can be involved.

Baby Buddy App and Stakeholder Day

The Baby Buddy App Project is rapidly moving forward and we are now at a very exciting point with the app being analysed with a fine tooth comb in a closed beta test with over 200 people. Thank you to everyone who has signed up to test the app. So far your feedback has been great and has helped the Apps Team a tremendous amount.

Before we went into beta testing we held a Stakeholder Day which gave 25 experts from different fields and representing key organisations a first glance at the new version of the app and also a chance for us to explain how films will be used in the app and how we are looking to promote it. All were very positive and keen to use to app in their future work with young parents. Here are some more details of the day.

All the marvellous feedback we have received on the app has been great encouragement for the team who, I must say, are working tirelessly to get it out to you all as soon as possible.

The great news about Baby Buddy being beta tested now is that very soon it should be in all your app stores to download (for free, of course). Watch this space for more news soon.

And whilst this has all been happening the Best Beginnings family has grown! We have welcomed Natasha as my new Executive Assistant, Emily, who is working with Lee as our new Administrator, Josh, Daryll Kavian, Ali and Bella who are our interns and are working with the Apps team during the beta testing and Sajni, who is working with the Fundraising team over the summer. They are all brilliantly talented and have really hit the ground running!

So as you can see it has been a very busy time but I am really glad to have found a bit of time to fill you all in on what has been happening.  I’m very excited about the direction we’re heading in and am looking forward to speaking to you all again soon.

As ever, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]

Best wishes,