A frosty start to the day 

It was a frosty start to the day (Wednesday 28th Feb – yes that Wednesday) but a heart-warming morning in the company of the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accompanied by representatives and beneficiaries from some of the incredible organisations whose life changing work The Royal foundation supports.

The event was held at the Aviva  head office,  a bitterly cold eight minute walk from Bank Underground station in London. The forum was superbly hosted by Tina Daheley.

“By one small act of kindness at a time.” 

I was reminded of the film, Evan Almighty when Noah asks God, played by Morgan Freeman, “God, how do we change the world?” and God says, as he fills a bowl of water for a passing dog, “By one small act of kindness at a time.” The Duke of Cambridge talked about the “convening power” of The Royal Foundation, bringing together organisations, each doing incredible work individually, who are even more powerful together. The Duchess of Cambridge talked about wanting “long lasting resonance”. 


#PowerOfCollaboration lies at the heart of what we do at Best Beginnings too – working with parents, doctors and other charities in our sector to ensure that the positive and empowering messages and information we communicate are consistent and received from all directions. We too work to achieve “lasting resonance” through a sustainability model that transfers ownership to communities by equipping multidisciplinary staff to cascade knowledge to front line staff who in turn, share their learning for years to come with the parents in their care and show them how to make the most of our Baby Buddy app to develop their confidence and self-efficacy. Naturally, one has to keep refreshing to keep the momentum – like pushing your little one on a swing – every so often you need another big push.

“I see myself as the person I once needed”

The act of equipping people with choice and empowerment was echoed by Chantelle Stefanovic from Full Effect in a moving and inspiring panel discussion. Chantelle knows what it’s like to make bad decisions when there seems no other option. She now works to equip young people in her community with the tools  to empower them with choice. Speaking frankly and engagingly she said, “I see myself as the person I once needed”.

Tracy Jenkins was saved by participation in sport through a very special organisation called Coach Core. She was the eldest of eleven children in a complicated situation. She would punch at walls repeatedly to vent her pain and frustration. She now mentors others at home and abroad and recounts a story (when she was head councillor at a summer camp in America) of a young boy going through a challenging time at home and expressing his pain and rage by throwing bricks at her while at camp.  When he had quietened down she told him, “No matter what your throw at me, I’ll be here to help you.” Unexpected reassurance and unconditional caring changed everything for him.

We were privileged with more powerful personal stories and a commitment from the three principals, soon to be four, to continue to tackle root causes (like mental health), continue to act as a convening power and to use their influence to increase reach and impact.

They admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the size of the impact Heads Together has had in a relatively short time  and recognise that we have really just gouged the surface – there is so much more that needs to be done to really shift things to “change mind sets”.

Continuing to shine a spotlight on issues concerning women’s health and well-being

With Best Beginnings’ focus on families, women being pivotal, we are delighted that The Duchess of Cambridge spoke of helping to continue to shine a spotlight on issues concerning women’s health and well-being. Very much looking forward to their future plans and thrilled to play our part. Thanks to Dr Gertrude Seneviratne, Chair of Perinatal Faculty RCPsych, and Professor Carmine Pariante, her academic colleague and consultant perinatal psychiatrist, for keeping me company as – the three of us pictured above.