£110k fund launched to help children in North Birkenhead

A pioneering £110,000 fund has been launched to help North Birkenhead children thrive by improving access to vital services, including support with pregnancy and parenting, play, education, health, hobbies and job-hunting.

Charities, community organisations and local groups are being invited to join forces to apply for grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 from Cradle to Career’s new North Birkenhead Collaboration Fund, for pilot projects to be launched in June.

It is the latest initiative to be announced as part of Cradle to Career’s long-term strategy to boost opportunities for children, young people, families and older residents.

Cradle to Career is a collective impact programme managed by the national charity Right to Succeed, and supported by donations of almost £3m over three years by philanthropist and Redrow founder Steve Morgan, the Steve Morgan Foundation, and SHINE.

The fund is designed to create new opportunities to complement Wirral Council’s 10-part Childhood Offer, a framework for the services, opportunities and support every child should be able to access as they grow.

The framework includes: happy healthy pregnancies; positive birth experience; forming strong attachments; opportunities to play and explore, engaging in learning; opportunities for hobbies and socialisation; learning development and self-care; advice on employment, education and training; having health needs met; and benefiting from good parenting.

Steve Morgan said, “The idea for Cradle to Career in North Birkenhead came from a collective desire to give every child a chance. There’s a lot of talk nationally at the moment about levelling up but that’s as much about people as it is places. To drive positive results and lasting change we have to create an even playing field for all.

“The new North Birkenhead Collaboration Fund is one of the important initiatives designed to increase opportunities for children, young people and residents of the area.”

Elizabeth Hartley, assistant director, Early Help & Prevention, Children’s Services Wirral Council, said, “The better our childhood experiences, the greater our chances as adults to have healthy relationships, form strong networks, be resilient, and have the time and confidence to fulfil our potential.

“Many of the things we take for granted don’t happen automatically for every child.

“We have great universal services in Wirral – schools, GPs, early years settings, youth activities – but some children need extra help to be able to access them.

“Collaboration is so valuable because none of us, as workers or organisations, have all the answers, tools or skills, but when we come together we can get pretty close to it. Families in North Birkenhead deserve the best opportunities we can jointly give them.

“They face the same issues as families everywhere, but some may be facing several challenges at the same time, which can make it feel overwhelming.

“This is why by collaborating – planning together, delivering together, reflecting together – we can offer co-ordinated support that families can engage with positively.

“Using the 10-part Childhood Offer, we can work collaboratively to give children, young people and families in North Birkenhead the best chance to grow up well.”

Cradle to Career chair and Involve Northwest CEO Justine Molyneux, said, “We want to fund creative pilot projects that bring local community organisations and services together to ensure more children and their families access the support they need.

“Partner organisations can apply for a joint grant of between £10,000 and £25,000 to work with the community to deliver a pilot project that will address local needs.

“We want to fund projects that address service gaps that our partners and local residents have identified as priorities. These include barriers to school attendance, and mental health support.

“We believe the most effective and sustainable ‘levelling-up’ happens when people come together at a grassroots level, rather than a ‘top-down’ approach.

“Funding will be for a one-year pilot period, during which we will support organisations to monitor and demonstrate the impact of their work.

“If your organisation has an idea you wish to explore, please get in touch with the team to see what support we can offer.

“Cradle to Career will work collaboratively with all projects to help measure impact, tell the story of each project, and support potential applications for future funding.”

Applicants are asked to apply collaboratively with another organisation and together must demonstrate how their projects will support children, young people and families in North Birkenhead.

The deadline for applications to the Community Collaboration Fund is Monday, 4 April.

Cradle to Career’s Collaboration Fund Panel all live or work in North Birkenhead. Decisions will be made during April, and successful projects can start from 1 June.

Any charity, community organisation or community group wishing to apply can do so here:  Application form: https://www.cradle2career.org.uk/north-birkenhead/collaboration-fund/

Image: Elizabeth Hartley, assistant director, Early Help & Prevention, Children’s Services Wirral Council

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