The journey starts with a baby step...
Baby Week Leeds launched in September 2016, is an early years initiative helping to bring and celebrate services from across the sector together. It's aim is raising awareness of the baby's important growth and development mentally and physically in order to give the best start.
Since May 2018, Baby Week Leeds is a registered charity, which is made up of different representatives from professions across the city including academic, midwifery, public health, children's centres and local government. Baby Week Leeds is back for the fifth time with many amazing events and activities and due to COVID-19, we have had to adapt to the current situation and move to more online platforms.
To mark 5 years in 2020, Baby Week will focus on five of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals over the next few years; good health and well-being, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, climate action and no poverty.
/ BABY WEEK BACKGROUND
Baby Week Leeds was inspired by Brazil’s ‘Semana do Bebe’ supported by UNICEF following a visit to the country by Churchill Fellow Lucy Potter. Leeds hosted the first English speaking Baby Week in 2016 with the support of Leeds NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups & Child Friendly Leeds.
The initiative aims to bring sectors and services together to promote the best start in life. Over four years, hundreds of citywide events have been held for parents, expectant parents, practitioners and professionals to attend. Now working with Child Friendly Leeds, NHS Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds Dads, Public Health, Mumbler, and many more partners across all sectors, we aim to collaborate and promote the best start, Baby Week launched in 2016 and Leeds was the first UK city to replicate a model to celebrate, raise awareness and bring sectors together. Since then we have been sharing best practice across the country and internationally to help promote the best start. Now Baby Week is celebrated in Bradford, Merseyside & Cheshire and Hull.
Each year new projects have been launched aimed at improving maternity experiences, including: The Baby Box; raising awareness of safe sleeping and reducing the risk of cot death; the ‘50 Things to do Before You’re 5’ app, a resource that offers experiences to build skills and supports brain development in young children; and the ‘Facemums’ initiative, a digital project aimed at bringing together pregnant and newly delivered women, via a secret Facebook site for support and information sharing during pregnancy and the early days of motherhood.
During the week partners come together to highlight the amazing work happening in the city, share best practice and raise awareness of key issues and campaigns. Expectant parents, parents and carers are given the opportunity to have their say, improve services in maternity and early years and have a Q&A with professionals. In 2019, Baby Week celebrated over 100 events with over 1000 attendees.
/ CHARITY Aims
Increasing awareness of, and access to, supportive services including early start centres and antenatal education, for parents, parents-to-be and wider family members
CelebratinG success and good practice, in relation to supporting all children to have the best start in life & supporting five of the 17 united nations sustainable development goals.
Encouraging and promoting the messages around how to improve outcomes during pregnancy and for the first two years of life among professionals, families and the public
Raising awareness of, and engagement with the relevant local strategies and the wider evidence-base for early intervention among professionals, families and the public