Funding policy is about building a brighter and happier future for young people; however, it requires long term commitment and patience. Policies guide how the country runs, and so making changes to here has the potential to have a large and lasting impact. However, these impacts are often hard to measure. AIM has found that funding policy and the roles associated with it results in charities gaining influence in government policy and funding priorities and can therefore be able to generate long term change.
WAVE Trust develops and pioneers research-based solutions to transform the futures of children by break the cycles of disadvantage. WAVE Trust is campaigning to reduce adverse childhood experiences of abuse, neglect and witnessing domestic violence by 70% by 2030; they call it the 70/30 campaign.
The WAVE Trust strives to achieve this goal through preventative programmes, which, to date, have benefited over 80,000 children. WAVE Trust has also established multi-national, cross-sector workshops for senior decision-makers, training them on childhood development and trauma. This year, the Borough of Camden approached WAVE Trust asking for guidance on priorities for prevention of adverse childhood experiences. Wave Trust is also working in collaboration with the World Health Organisation to reduce adverse childhood experiences, both in the UK and globally.
AIM’s core funding has helped enable WAVE Trust’s development of a training package, that could be delivered to local authorities, schools, and prisons. The pilot training received incredibly positive feedback:
“Brilliant session. The best course I’ve been on in seven years working in family and wellbeing services.”
With AIMs continued support the WAVE Trust will provide this essential training even more people who need it.
Best Beginnings – Parent Leaders Project
Best Beginnings works towards helping parents to give their children the nurturing loving care and attention that provides healthy development. They developed an evidence-based, award-winning app called Baby Buddy. The app provides understandable information on child development, answers questions, signposts support and helps to make parents feel less alone.
AIM has funded the role of a Project Lead, who has increased grassroots engagement in Newham, reaching over 800 vulnerable and at-risk families and has supported 17 grassroots organisations. Best Beginnings have become a catalyst of change by raising the voices of unrepresented mothers to influence policy both locally and nationally.
With AIM’s funding over the next three years, Best Beginnings aims to reach 7100 at-risk families, train 150 community workers, peer supporters and volunteers and train ten parent leaders, who can continue to influence decision-making platforms, locally, regionally and nationally.
Mental health is the most significant health issue young people face. AIM looks to fund charities that have opportunities to leverage their effectiveness and spread their impact through replication or scaling their interventions that help prevent, reduce and minimise the impacts of mental health issues.
iHV – Perinatal Infant Mental Health Champions
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has a core mission of improving the lives of all infants and their families through excellence in practice and reducing health inequalities. Research suggests that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 20 men experience perinatal mental health problems, that in some cases lead to suicide. iHV train ‘Mental Health Champions’ who go on to be ambassadors for perinatal and infant mental health in their local area. iHV’s MH Champion training program has had fantastic feedback from the Champions:
“I couldn’t even start with what was most beneficial. Very engaging, interesting and informative. Most interactive training I’ve had to date, delivered by two specular facilitators.”
– Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Nurse
AIM has funded forum events that support the Champions’ resilience and wellbeing, and sustain their motivation, competence and confidence. These forums also encourage champions to engage with academics and research tuitions, keeping the Champions up to with current research. In light of Covid-19, iHV have developed to achieve maximum efficiency with their online forums and have trained their presenters in the use of online tools. Over the next year, iHV will continue to develop their digital support and will speak at two international conferences.
Cued Speech is the only UK based charity providing family support, training and information to help deaf children see what you are saying. Cued Speech offers life-changing training for parents of deaf children, making communication possible by teaching parents how to ‘cue’. Invented in 1966, cueing is integrating visual cues when you speak to help deaf people lip-read more accurately.
“It is like family life has suddenly become three dimensional. Previously my child was not able integrate with family games and activities and seemed disengaged and unhappy. Now my child can play games at home and loves to play scrabble where she is able to confidently play with her siblings.” – a mother of a deaf child
In the last year, Cued Speech has more than doubled their training delivery and developed new training tools, games, songs and research. They raised awareness about the support they provide, to over 350 individuals and health professionals. With AIM’s financial support, they have made a positive impact on over 220 deaf children, improving their literacy skills, increasing their confidence and improving their wellbeing.
Association of Infant Mental Health (AIMH)
AIMH’s primary goal is to promote infant mental health by supporting healthcare practitioners to work effectively with pregnant and new parents. They are passionate about raising awareness and knowledge of infant mental health by up-skilling practitioners working with at-risk pregnant, parents and their infants to strengthen attachment and improve emotional and social development.
With the funding, AIMH has developed and launched the infant mental health competency framework. This framework sets the standard for all infant mental health practitioners to work towards to become accredited. The system allows practitioners to self-assess and identify what further professional training and development they require and with which they can engage.
AIM funds charities that provide face-to-face interaction to support those already struggling with mental health or in a difficult situation. AIM focus is on people living in Essex, as this is where AIM’s endowment funds were generated.
Working in deprived areas of Essex, Parents 1st train ‘community parent’ volunteers to give peer-to-peer support. These support programs reached over 1100 parents, improving their knowledge and confidence in keeping well during pregnancy, preparing for labour and parenting. They also provide 1-1 peer support to those mothers who need extra support.
Parents 1st launched a website that allows parents to receive peer-to-peer support and access resources online. They aim to create an online community that provides an effective and sustainable peer-support system that nurtures the emotional welling and confidence of expecting mothers and parents and their babies, to give all babies the love and support they need.