Published On: 7 March 2023Tags: , ,

The Race Equality Foundation will be supporting the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to deliver on their Start for Life initiative over the next two years. Start for Life is part of the broader Best Chance strategy designed to help babies, children and young people in the borough to thrive.  The Foundation will be working closely with the Parenting Coordinator and the Early Help and Support Team to roll out our evidence based programme Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) to meet the needs of diverse families with a child under five.

As well as supporting the Best Start for Life objectives, this project will be a key element of the borough’s early intervention strategy and enhance the parenting support offer.  Further it will develop the capacity of the VCSE sector in the borough to be an active partner in family support, providing good quality evidence-based programmes to the communities they work with. The Foundation will partner with local organisations to reach communities that are not well served by mainstream services including Black, Asian and other minoritised communities, as well as dads, young parents and those experiencing deprivation. The Foundation has an extensive track record in working in partnership with local VCSE groups to embed SFSC and to upskill workers in this sector and so is able to build on our experience of this in Barking and Dagenham.

We are currently in the set up phase of this project carrying out a mapping exercise to identify organisations who might benefit from an opportunity to receive facilitator training and be well placed to deliver SFSC; as well as making links with key local stakeholders to establish good local knowledge of the benefits of SFSC for parents.  Alongside this we are developing marketing materials, establishing a referral pathway and identifying local venues and creche providers, as well as agree and train the first tranche of delivery partners. Lastly, we are reviewing our materials for parents with under fives to update and improve them for utilisation in Barking and Dagenham.

From April we will be delivering two programmes each term in the borough, which will include both English delivery programmes and community language programmes. New facilitators will be supported through the accreditation process and organisations will be provided with a model of best practice which they will hopefully be able to utilise with their own delivery once they have had a chance to be supported through the process by our team.

We are keen to hear from individuals and organisations based in the borough who would like to hear more about the project. We are interested in hearing from anyone who might want to refer parents, become a delivery agency, access training for staff, tell us about venues or services they offer that we can signpost to.

Please drop Jade Briant an email at to find out more.