Early years' preventative work in England and Wales

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As part of its plans for spending out its remaining resources by March 2023, the Trust has made a decision to close all open applications for preventative work for the most disadvantaged 0-3 year olds. Sadly, as a consequence, the November round will not take place, and there will be no further open rounds.  The Trust will continue to work to fund preventative work for the most disadvantaged 0-3 year olds in England and Wales and will be consulting widely to achieve the best outcomes with these remaining resources.

Early years’ preventative work currently being supported:

Covid 19 emergency fund: 53 grants were awarded in May 2020 each between £1,000 and £5,000

Larger Projects currently being funded

  Home-Start UK

This grant will enable Home-Start UK to research and evaluate the peri-inatal mental health interventions being offered through the Home-Start network. This will lead on to guidelines of good practice and training to improve support that all Home-Starts are able to give to families where there are peri-natal mental issues. Total funding over 2 years £99,495

The Charnwood Trust

The Charnwood Trust runs 2 small nurseries in Stockport for those children eligible for the 2 year old offer. This funding will enable them to employ a Nursery School Learning Mentor to provide the essential link between home and nursery. Total funding over 2 years £45,100

Shepherds Bush Families Project

This grant will fund the Parent and Infant Relational Group run by this charity whose activities are dedicated to meet the needs of local families living in uncertain or unsuitable accommodation. The group is a drop in for parent and babies from birth to 1 year. Run by qualified psychotherapists, it provides a preventative intervention as parents are supported to understand their babies’ needs. Total funding over 2 years £42,924

 Cued Speech Association UK  is being funded to enable it to make a step change in the range of its activities and the number of people who are aware of this system of enhanced lip reading for those who are deaf or hearing impaired, based on phonetics. The funding is targeted at families with a 0-3 year old enabling the parents to communicate with their babies and infants in their mother tongue as soon as a diagnosis of hearing loss is made. Total grant over 2 years £100,000

 School-Home Support

This grant will fund a pilot project: ‘Ready for Nursery: Ready for Learning’. It will be based on the Holme Wood Estate in Bradford and will be offered to parents as they register their children for nursery school. The emphasis will be on giving parents the knowledge, tools and strategies they need to support their child’s readiness for learning. Over 3 years the aim is to work with 500 families. Total funding over 3 years: £135,610

Child Dynamix

This charity offers services to children, young people and families in Hull including nursery provision. The grant will allow ChildDynamix to recruit a specialist Family Support Worker. They will have responsibility for leading the work with the youngest children, looking to start supporting families, identified as vulnerable, in pregnancy and then through to nursery with the aim of reducing the adverse circumstances and poor outcomes for many children in the area. Total grant over 3 years: £105,405

Wild Young Parents Project

This charity, which operates across Cornwall, is being funded to develop its work with teenage parents enabling them to better nurture their babies and infants identified as having specific needs. This continuation funding will enable the development of an assessment tool, the employment of 3 key workers and training for all staff. Total funding over 1 year £47,000

Wild Young Parents Project

This additional grant will allow the team at Wild to devote more resources to income generation and development. 2 year grant total £50,000


Treyla is a local Cornish charity working exclusively on the Treneere estate in East Penzance. This grant will help pay the costs of the nursery it runs which offers funded places to local children. The grant also includes an element to allow Treyla to take a strategic look at the overall offer it is making in early years’ preventative work. 2 year grant £62,684

Northern Ballet

This grant will pay the costs of taking dance workshops into nursery schools in the Leeds area. Total grant over 2 years £6,000

Groundwork East’s ‘Wellies in the Woods’ project delivers courses on wild play within children’s centres across the east of England, runs training for childrens’ centre staff so that they have the skills and confidence to include more wild play in their regular activities and is now holding a full evaluation of the programme with a view for a national rollout. Total grant over 1 year £29,450

Make Some Noise

This grant will enable music sessions to be delivered in community centres for families and 1-3 year olds who are at risk of falling behind developmental milestones. 1 year grant £18,500


A grant to allow the training of early years’ practitioners to use a bespoke Vista kit which will help them to identify 2-4 year olds with visual impairments and sight problems. 2 year grant total £55,893

The Daisy Garland

A grant to fund sleep and epilepsy monitors for children aged 0-3 with drug resistant epilepsy. 2 year grant total £58,217

Three Spires Family Support

A grant to enable them to develop their 1001 first days offer for the families they work with in Coventry city centre. 3 year grant total £81,112

Nofas UK

Grant to enable them to lead a programme of preventative education for 15-25 year old in England and Wales to coincide with NICE guidelines 2020 on the drinking of alcohol in pregnancy. 3 year grant £360,000


A grant to support the costs of quality assurance and an independent evaluation of their Starting Solids workshops. 2 year grant total £57,623


A grant to fund outreach and therapeutic work with parents and infants on the Rose Hill estate in Oxfordshire.  3 year grant total £84,000

Plymouth Music Zone

A grant for music leaders to lead groups in nursery school settings in disadvantaged areas of Plymouth. 2 year grant total £30,210

Growing Together Northampton

A grant to allow this nursery school to significantly enhance their offer to 2 and 3 year old in receipt of funded places. 2 year grant total £51,986

Clifton Children’s Society

A grant to train their Tots Group staff, working with families of adopted 0-3 year olds, in the use of Theraplay. 2 year grant total £34,832

Happy Baby Community

A grant for this charity working with asylum seeking women who are the survivors of human trafficking, to develop the services for their babies and infants. 2 year grant total £60,000

Bright Opportunities for Special People

A grant to help establish a playgroup for parent and 0-3 year olds with special needs. 2 year grant total £7,000

Living Paintings

A grant to help meet the costs of the tactile books in their free lending library for 0-3 year olds with visual impairments. 2 year grant total £6,000

Special Stars Foundation A grant to help meet the sosts of its playgroup for 0-3 year old with special needs. 2 year grant total £6,000

Breaking down Barriers

Breaking down Barriers: supporting and informing families and communities affected by genetic conditions, with a particular focus on autosomal recessive conditions

Statement June 2020: The Covid 19 crisis has starkly highlighted health inequalities in the UK and these are also the focus of many other charitable organisations and interest groups including those with a specific interest in BAME groups. Breaking Down Barriers was established to address health inequalities as its central concern and is well placed and committed to contribute its expertise and support to those addressing the same challenges and with whom we share a mission.

Breaking down Barriers is the programme  funded by the Trust to enable organisations supporting families with genetic disorders, with a particular focus on autosomal recessive conditions, to reach out more effectively to those communities that are particularly at risk but currently underserved.

Alstom Syndrome UK, previously funded by the Trust for its work to reach more people from South Asian communities, now provides the management for Breaking down Barriers. The following organisations are the current members sharing experiences and expertise to improve their capacity to reach those communities at increased risk of inheriting genetic conditions:

  • AKU
  • Albinism Fellowship
  • ALEX (formally ALD Life)
  • Alstrom Syndrome UK
  • Ante Natal Results and Choices (ARC)
  • Ataxia UK
  • Bardet Biedl Syndrome UK
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia Society
  • Ehlers Danlos Support UK
  • Firvale Community Hub, Sheffield
  • Gauchers’ Association
  • Genetic Alliance UK
  • The Haemochromatosis Society
  • Huntington’s Disease Association
  • Jnetics
  • Luton Parent Carers Forum
  • MACS
  • Metabolic Support UK
  • Muscular Dystrophy UK
  • Niemann Pick UK
  • Rare Revolution
  • Sickle Cell Society
  • UK Thalassaemia Society
  • Walking with Giants
  • Wellchild
  • Wolfram Syndrome

Outcomes sought from this programme:

  • Increased awareness of cultural issues amongst patient organisations, support groups and medical professionals
  • Patient organisations and support groups, existing and new, better equipped to support diverse communities and those not able to express their needs directly
  • Improvements in services and practices that are fully integrated into patient organisations
  • Families reporting that they feel better supported
  • Educated patient groups who are better able to manage their condition effectively and lead a better quality of life
  • Empowered patient groups who know of the reproductive options available to them and the consequence of carrier status
  • Increased participation in genetic counselling and increased diagnosis
  • Improved general awareness of genetic conditions
  • Comprehensive guidelines produced to help break down the barriers experienced by families and which can be used throughout a range of different services

The long term aim of Breaking down Barriers is to see fewer children born with genetic disorders, in particular autosomal recessive conditions, in those families and communities most at risk. To help achieve this Breaking down Barriers seeks to include more patient organisations and a wider audience.

Application Process

If your organisation is interested in knowing more about Breaking down Barriers, and potentially being involved, please send an initial email of interest to You can find out more at

NB Because of the way this programme is being managed, the Trust is unable to accept applications to fund separate initiatives in this area of concern.

Development work in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

The Trust has now concluded its overseas funding and is not seeking to support any additional work.