Charities, community organisations and local groups were invited to submit joint applications for grants of up to £25,000 from Cradle to Career’s new Service Collaboration Fund, and demonstrate how their projects will support children, young people and families in North Birkenhead.
After deliberation from local professionals, residents and an independent chair, the successful projects have been announced – Standing Together, Diversity+, Builder Book and POD FUN Birkenhead.
It is the latest initiative as part of Cradle to Career’s long-term strategy to boost opportunities for children, young people, families and older residents. Cradle to Career is a collective impact programme managed by the national charity Right to Succeed, and supported by donations of almost £3m over three years by the Steve Morgan Foundation, and SHINE.
A condition of the Service Collaboration Fund was that local organisations work collectively to deliver the project.
Steve Morgan, Redrow founder and chair of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said:
“We are proud to support this project and to have made a long-term commitment to the community of North Birkenhead, where the young people have so much potential. I grew up in Merseyside, and want every child to have the support they need to achieve their dreams.”
One of the successful projects, Diversity+, aims to ensure that every family living in the North End of the town with children with additional needs has a support network they can turn to.
Bev Morgan, CEO, Koala NW, of the Diversity+ project, said:
“Koala NW has been delivering services in Wirral for over two decades. We saw working with Cradle to Career as an opportunity to improve engagement in North Birkenhead. We had specifically identified a service gap around supporting families with children with SEND, and when the Service Collaboration Fund was advertised, we jumped at the chance to apply with two other local organisations.
“Koala NW, WEB-Merseyside and Equilibrium provide a wealth of services to the local community, and this was an opportunity for us to work together and expand our offer. The project, Diversity+, will provide a seamless offer of emotional and wellbeing support for children and families with SEND, through commissioned home visits, sensory-based play sessions, monthly coffee mornings, coaching sessions, sleep support with a qualified sleep practitioner, and a 0-19 group to support mothers.”
Rekha Patel-Harrison, programme director, Cradle to Career, said:
“The Service Collaboration Fund encourages local community organisations and services to work together, creating new projects to support children and their families in North Birkenhead. All four of the successful projects were approved by a panel of local residents and professionals because they address a service gap in the area, from improving community support and opportunities for children with SEN needs to providing family literacy workshops and resources.
“Funding is for a one-year pilot period, during which we will support the organisations all the way to help demonstrate the impact of their work, and support potential applications for future funding.”
Standing Together will work with schools and families in the Birkenhead North area and provide opportunities to learn about and engage themes of discrimination, anti-racism, and the celebration of different cultures.
Builder Book aims to improve mental fitness, literacy and social interaction in children and families via creativity and storytelling, helping narrow the education gap, increase family time, decrease social isolation, and encourage open conversations between families around feelings.
The POD FUN project aims to provide access to peer-led wellbeing services that meet the needs of families with children and young people living with SEND or challenges around SEMH in the North Birkenhead community.
The Service Collaboration Fund is designed to create new opportunities to complement Wirral Council’s 10-part Childhood Offer, a framework for the services, opportunities and support every child should be able to access as they grow.