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Foundations will encourage creative play for parents and children as a means to promote and improve their health and wellbeing.

by Better Leeds Communities in Leeds, England, United Kingdom

About Better Leeds Communities Better Leeds Communities is a Leeds based charity that has been working in Burley and across Leeds for over 35 years. We are experts at working with people who have complex lives; who are socially isolated; from newly arrived communities; and with those who live in communities identified as having high deprivation rankings. We are experienced at working with families, children and young people from our local community as we understand their needs, hopes fears and desires – we are based in the community and interact with residents on a daily basis. Our services are delivered by our staff team who are highly experienced and motivated in their areas of work and care about those they work with and support. Our aim is to make Leeds a better place to live by bringing the city’s diverse and marginalised communities together. Our mission is to create opportunities that enable residents to achieve their potential by raising aspirations, removing barriers and developing abilities - we work to: • Create healthier communities • Reduce Poverty • Improve social cohesion We work to achieve our aims and mission through understanding those we work with – we support people to achieve their goals and show them how they are experts in themselves. Our Idea - Foundations Our project will support childhood development and foster positive relationships between parents and children through play; will help strengthen family relationships; and put in place foundations to strengthen economic security and self-sufficiency. Foundations will be aimed at economically and socially disadvantaged families who have limited opportunities to take part in play in Burley, Leeds; our area has high levels of deprivation including income deprivation affecting children; a majority reside in densely populated back-to-back terraced homes; experience overcrowding and have no private outdoor space. Parents tell us they have little space to play with their children; that cultural differences between neighbours can affect participation; and a lack of income places barriers on participation which can result in social isolation and impact health and wellbeing. Many parents also say that they have lost confidence in how to play; struggle to engage their children in creative and imaginative activities; and feel overwhelmed and confused by conflicting information. Foundations will work with parents to develop fun, creative, positive and engaging activities and enable parents and children to improve their relationships and build friendships and support networks as a means to improve their health and wellbeing by: • Building play relationships between parents and children • Increasing social cohesion • Reducing loneliness and isolation The impact of Foundations will be that parents have improved skills and feel confident to play with their children leading to reduce isolation and improve individual and community relationships. How will the money raised achieve our vision? We will use the money raised to achieve our vision - of encouraging creative play for parents and children as a means to promote and improve their health and wellbeing - by listening to and working with parents and children to develop play skills beyond the funding phase of 12 months so that there is a lasting community resource. We know, from experience, that the people we work with want the projects we deliver to continue ongoing, this is especially true when funding is only for a year. We are seeking additional funds to have time to work with parents to enable them to build support and peer networks to continue the concepts behind Foundations. We want to ensure that we can embed the concept and support parents to take ownership and develop leadership to continue in the future.

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