With the Olympics finally here, and the sun shining, it remains an incredibly busy and exciting time at Best Beginnings. We have been working very hard to follow up on all the opportunities arising from the launch of Small Wonders in June and I’m delighted to say that over 130 of the 175 hospitals in England now have copies of the DVD. Over 67,000 have been distributed via our network of 400+ Small Wonders Champions.

If you go to www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/News/small-wonders-launch-films you’ll see a summary film of the launch that features footage of the Small Wonders DVD, the early morning press launch, speaker endorsements and the inspiring and brave personal stories of parents in the DVD. On this page you can watch the 2-3 minute speeches from Presidents of three Royal Colleges, an overview of the Small Wonders project by me and some compelling words from four of the 14 amazing families featured in the Small Wonders DVD.

I am enormously encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest that has greeted the launch of Small Wonders and I’m sure that from the feedback we have received, it will make a huge difference to the parents of sick and premature children, as well as the clinicians on the ground supporting them.

In parallel, our Small Wonders National Change Programme continues at pace. Our work with Guys’ and St Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College Hospital and Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust will help to embed and evaluate the Small Wonders DVD so we can share this vital learning with our Small Wonders Champions around the nation.

The launch of Small Wonders was also the launch pad for a major Best Beginnings fundraising appeal, “Donate for child health”, aimed at achieving a target of £150k. This is an incredibly important appeal for us and will help us to develop projects currently in the pipeline. These include the production of new apps to bring informative and compelling content to the mobile phones of mums and dads as they prepare for parenthood – more of this exciting project to come but it has the potential to be a real ‘game changing’ initiative for Best Beginnings and those it is here to help.  So my grateful thanks to all those who have already supported us – it makes a big difference. And to those who haven’t, please dig deep and make a donation at www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/Appeal/donate-for-child-health.

And on a rainy, cold London Sunday in early July, 22 valiant supporters did ‘dig deep’ by taking part in London’s British 10k run to raise funds for Best Beginnings. I cannot thank them enough for all the hard work and training they have put in and am delighted to say that over £8,500 has been raised to date; with more pledges still to come in! Best Beginnings Chair Prof. Alan Maryon-Davis who was there to welcome and provide words of encouragement to the runners said:  “It was great to see so many out running on such a chilly day in support of Best Beginnings. I have been really impressed by everyone’s dedication and commitment to the cause – a really fantastic effort and heartfelt thanks from all the Best Beginnings team.” If you would like to see some of the film clips from the day, just go to www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/News/10k-2012 and if you would like to take part in future fundraising events, do contact Jen Hughes at [email protected]. I’d like to add my own personal thanks to all who took part and give you my assurance that every £ you have raised will be well spent!

So as many of us take a breather over the Summer, I have one final piece of good news to share with you. Best Beginnings has recently won the 2012 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Online Financial Reporting and Accounts Award which celebrates the success of charities that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in online financial reporting. You can read more about this here: www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/News/2012-icaew-award

Have a wonderful Summer!

Very best wishes,