On Tuesday I celebrated the announcement that the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) has been awarded a £38 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
This is fantastic news and will help change the lives of thousands of children and their families in Lambeth.
The aim of the project is to ensure that all children in the LEAP wards, aged from pregnancy to 4 years old, regardless of their background, have the best start in life.
To do this, LEAP will provide access to support which is proven to improve language and communication, social and emotional development and the nutrition of babies and toddlers.
It is ambitious in its scope, aimingto help improve the lives of more than 10,000 children over the course of the 10 year project.
I’ve been delighted to watch this project take shape. To me, it is a great example of how our ambitions as a council and for our communities don’t have to be dampened by the drastic changes to our funding.
We simply have to find new and innovative ways of working.
And so this project is a fantastic example of effective partnership working, as well as how creating resilient communities can help to tackle problems early on.
It takes a really holistic approach, based on genuine evidence about what works to improve children’s lives.
The project recognises that the social, emotional, communication and language development of babies and children is affected not just by the wellbeing of their parents, but by their social networks, and the strength of their communities and the wider environment too.
The projects will be delivered at twenty-six sites across four neighbouring wards in the centre of Lambeth: Coldharbour, Stockwell, Tulse Hill and Vassall; which are home to a fifth of Lambeth’s population and a quarter of our borough’s children under 18 (25% of whom are under four).
Specific goals will include improving breastfeeding rates, reducing childhood and maternal obesity, reducing domestic violence, strengthening families, and supporting parents.
It was a pleasure to be involved in the announcement on Tuesday. This is a fantastic project and it will only be a matter of time before the positive impacts will start to be felt across Lambeth.
For more information on this project, you can read Lambeth’s full press release here.