Round 3 of the Health and Wellbeing Fund, aimed at improving learning among mothers with young children, opens to applications from VCSE organisations in England (application deadline 30 October 2020)

Applications have just opened for a share of a £3.3 million fund to support community projects in England aimed at tackling obesity, reducing smoking and improving learning among mothers with young babies.

The deadline for applications to the Health and Wellbeing Fund is 12 noon on Friday 30 October 2020. Successful projects are expected to be announced in December 2020.

o Charities are encouraged to apply for share of the Health and Wellbeing Fund to develop schemes themed around ‘starting well’.
o The Fund will help community projects improve learning and development, perinatal mental health and prevent obesity.
o The 3rd round of the Health and Wellbeing Fund is part of the government’s aim to level up communities and promote equality.

This new round of the Health and Wellbeing Fund has been launched with the theme of ‘starting well’ to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds from preconception to up to 2-and-a-half years of age.

The Fund will pay for 3-year projects run by voluntary and community social enterprises (VCSEs) to help level up deprived communities and give children the best possible start in life.

The fund is open to applications from charity-run projects aimed at:

o Improving perinatal mental health.
o Reducing the percentage of babies born with low birthweight.
o Increasing babies being breastfed.
o Obesity prevention and support.
o Reducing smoking or encouraging smoke-free homes.
o Improving learning, speech and language development, and
o Improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease

The Fund aims to tackle key public health issues from an early age such as obesity, which disproportionately affects people and children from an economically deprived area. The government recently launched an obesity strategy to make the healthy choice the easy choice for families and help reduce obesity rates.

The £3.3 million is available to support the new schemes in 2020/21, with funding for schemes planned for a further two years up to 2022/23.

The Health and Wellbeing Fund is already supporting 23 social prescribing schemes and 23 children and young people’s mental health schemes that are providing important services to communities across England.

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.