The new PSS Growing Together service, in partnership with Everton in the Community, has been awarded part of the Starting Well health and wellbeing fund which aims to reduce health inequalities among new parents and their children.
19 projects were recently announced as beneficiaries of a share of £7.6 million which focuses on families living in Black, Asian or minority ethnic communities or deprived areas. The aims of the fund are to boost mental health for new and expectant parents, to improve the development of babies and children and to reduce obesity and diabetes. Children in Liverpool have some of the worst health outcomes in the UK and the funding will support building a better future for them.
PSS Growing Together is a therapeutic service focused on helping parents and carers develop strong and healthy relationships with their babies; keeping them safe, helping them enjoy life together and forming strong and positive bonds. The service is one of three that PSS offers to support parents and babies with a range of different needs. In the past 12 months these services have supported 160 families using face-to-face and virtual therapy during the pandemic. The funding will be used for service expansion to reach families who are in earlier need of support, as well as offering an innovative and targeted ‘fathers’ support approach through a collaborative partnership with Everton in the Community’s ‘Supporting Dads’ programme which focuses on giving new dads both practical and soft skills to help them become more engaged in their baby’s life.
Michael Galbraith, clinical psychologist and Growing Together clinical lead, said this about the news:
‘We are really excited about the opportunity to meet and work with families at an earlier stage in their journey. This means supporting them to develop strengths and resilience before small difficulties become major problems. Which hopefully also means more babies and parents enjoying the first couple of years together, setting a basis for happy and healthy development in the future. We are delighted at the chance to be doing this work with Everton in the Community, given their expertise and resources in making links with a wide cross section of the community, including dads. I am sure that we will learn a lot from each other about how to raise the awareness of babies’ emotional wellbeing, and how professionals and parents connect to help parents and babies connect.’
Michael Salla, Everton in the Community Director of Health and Disability, added: ‘We’re delighted to secure this new funding that will enable us to provide a much-needed service to support dads at such an important time in their lives. The project will allow us to provide a wide range of support focused on improving physical, mental and social health. By co-delivering the project with PSS, we’ll be able to collectively provide a much greater level of support to dads, and the wider family, to further improve health outcomes in a more cost-effective way.’
The PSS Growing Together service is part of social enterprise PSS, which runs a host of services in Liverpool and around the country to support people to live happy, healthy and hopeful lives, whether they’re adults who have learning or physical disabilities, challenges with their mental health or difficulties as they’re getting older; people in and around the criminal justice system; or families who’ve been through unsteady times.
Established in 1988, Everton in the Community works to address key issues facing the most hard-to-reach and most vulnerable members of the local community with over 40 programmes tackling social issues such as mental health, employment, health, poverty and education.