Never has a team been so appropriately named! Better Start Bradford’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team are indeed the ‘face’ of Better Start Bradford and can be found out and about in our community spreading our messaging to give babies the best start in life. We managed to catch them on a rare occasion they were all in the office to ask them about their role.
Our FACE Team are (pictured left to right):
- Sally Teasdale, who covers BD5
- Abida Rafiq, who covers BD4
- Humera Khan, who covers BD3
Tell me in 50 words what the role of the FACE team is?
We’re the face and voice of Better Start Bradford in the community. We work with expectant families and families with children under four where we can cascade our messages in a fun, exciting, understandable and informative way. We want to support parents and carers to be the best that they can possibly be.
Where will we find you in the community?
We are wherever families with babies and young children are across the Better Start Bradford wards of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. You’ll find us at family groups and events across the three wards and also at other sessions run by our partners at family hubs (formerly children’s centres), community groups, parent-led groups, local schools and baby and toddler sessions to name but a few. We’d love you to come and say hello.
What type of activities and events do you run for local families?
Wow where do we start? We run lots of fun free events and activities for families throughout the year – play events, outside reading and planting events, we’ve even run three baby raves! Some of our most popular events are our summer street parties and festive fun events; we have seen attendance at these grow and grow over the years. We organise local groups and activities such as healthy mums and walking groups and English conversational sessions.
Dads are really important too and we’ve hosted lots of dad’s workshops and a really innovative event our Audience with a Midwife for Dads. It was so popular and we got such great feedback. In addition, our Ready, Steady, School events were successful and a good example of partnership working with the schools, oral health and the health visiting team.
We also get involved with local community group’s events such as summer fairs, community events, workshops and festivals. If you check out the events page on our website, or follow our Facebook page, you will find details of all the events and projects that we and our partners run for families in the area.
Our team also encourages local parents to apply for funding to run their own community activities through our Parents in the Lead Activities fund. Parents can an apply once a year for a maximum of £2,500. The fund is designed to help parents, grandparents and other adult carers run activities for themselves together with their babies and toddlers 0 – 4 years. A panel of local parents, grandparents and people who work with under fours consider the applications and agree which activities get funding. Over the past 2 years we have funded activities such as gardening groups, toddler Zumba, swimming and football with parents and tots, dad’s and toddler activities. If you have any ideas please get in touch.
Tell me what your proudest moments have been so far?
Sally: We are proud of everything we do, but our festive fun events and street parties are our favourites. They attract so many of our amazing families – it’s interesting how many people will end up engaging with our projects or volunteering after coming along to a fun day!
Humera: I am really proud of Parents in the Lead Activities fund. The FACE team have been key to making it a really successful project at Better Start Bradford. We work extremely closely with many of the applicants, not only to support with the application process, but also to help and support the implementation of the projects and activities.
What are your personal favourite Better Start Bradford projects and why?
Sally: Cooking for A Better Start has a very personal place in my heart. Before we commissioned HENRY to deliver this, I used to run Cook and Eat sessions within local community venues and family hubs. I am a trained nutritionist and I love the hands-on practical support the project gives to families.
Humera: I love our Better Place project. I come from an environmental background and love anything that encourages enjoyment of nature and being outdoors.
Abida: I think it’s Little Minds Matter for me. I find the neuroscience of attachment and attunement fascinating and the importance of understanding maternal as well as paternal perinatal mental health. I’m an advocate for dads and would like to broaden and shift professional mind-set when supporting families during the perinatal stage to be more inclusive of dads/partner etc. This will most definitely give us a greater insight into infant mental health too.
What advice would you give to families about getting involved with Better Start Bradford activities and projects?
If you are expecting a baby or have children under four, Better Start Bradford could be for you. Please take a look at what we do. We provide lots of free, local activities and projects for you and your family to get involved in from pregnancy and birth, to a child’s fourth birthday. They are great for helping your children to learn as they play, eat well and be healthy, talk and communicate, have fun and be confident and sociable. You also get to meet other parents.
How do we contact you?
Please use our postcode checker to check that you are in the Better Start Bradford area.