Listening to, learning from and supporting local people

A Better Start Southend is about using new ways of thinking to solve some of the problems that have affected local children and families for years. We started life in April 2015 and are one of five Better Start areas across the country funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

We are a partnership of local organisations who have years of experience working with families and young children. Most importantly, we’re working with local parents and carers to find out what needs to change if we are going to give Southend’s children the best start they can have.

We focus on three specific areas of a child’s development; Diet and Nutrition, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language. Additionally, we also focus on building Community Resilience and implementing System Change.

How do we work?

Parents and carers are involved every step of the way: raising the problems that need solving, coming up with some answers, and helping us test good ideas. You can find out more about how we want to work here.

We want Southend to be known as the best place in this country to bring up a child and be a parent, to create a community that welcomes every baby and ensures they have the best deal possible. We are doing this through, major system change and delivery of science and evidence-based interventions, transforming maternity care, parental support, and ultimately children’s  and families’ lives, with higher aspirations, better education and greater employment chances.

If we’re going to create a change that lasts long after A Better Start is over, we need to learn from everything we do. That’s why every project we support starts out small and is tested, improved and tested again until we’re sure it works for our local community. To achieve this we are running a range of free projects and activities for parents and children under 4 for families in six local wards –  Kursaal, Milton, Shoeburyness, Victoria, Westborough and West Shoebury. Eventually, the things we learn here will be shared across the whole of Southend.

Our Values

Read more on A Better Start Southend’s stance on anti-racism here

Our Values shape the way we work at all times. As an organisation we are:

Professional: We aim to provide excellent, high-quality services and share our knowledge and learning widely, for the benefit of our Partners and the community

Innovative: We aim to be creative, bold and ambitious in all that we do

Collaborative: We are a Partnership, engaging and working with others to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and their families

Caring: We will at all times be inclusive and supportive, placing the needs of children and their families at the forefront of all that we do