NCT has been successful in securing funding to increase the reach of our Birth and Beyond Community Supporter (BBCS) programme.

NCT has been successful in securing funding from the Early Years Social Action Fund, run by global innovation foundation Nesta and supported by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to increase the reach of our Birth and Beyond Community Supporter (BBCS) programme.

The aim of the fund is to help more children, aged four and under, achieve their developmental milestones by backing ‘social action’ programmes where volunteers support parents and primary carers.

NCT will train over 200 new peer support volunteers to help hundreds of mothers in disadvantaged communities who are at risk of isolation and struggling to access the services they need.

The peer supporters offer support to mothers during the all-important first 1,000 days to make social connections and reduce isolation, improve emotional wellbeing and increase access to local services.

This support creates the conditions to strengthen the parent-infant relationship, improve self-confidence and parenting skills which impacts on a child’s longer term social, cognitive and emotional development.

We spent 6 months working intensively with Nesta to understand how we could take the results from previous pilots of BBCS, and deliver services in five new areas of England. Nesta will work closely with us to ensure that we think about how we sustain the project by helping us to build strong evidence to attract future funders and commissioners.

The project allows us to build on the work that we’ve been doing, with funding from Department of Health, in Queen’s Park with Paddington Development Trust.

The project will start in autumn 2017 in the Feltham area of Hounslow in London, where we are working with a local school to recruit volunteers and families who need support, and in Peterborough, where we have partnered with a local housing association.

We are talking to potential partners in Yorkshire, the north and west midlands for more sites to come online in spring 2018.

NestaDepartment for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport