A new multi-million pound fund will give people from black, Asian and minority ethnic or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life.

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

Applications are open for a share of a £3.3 million fund – organisations have until Friday 30 October 2020 at midday to apply, with the successful projects to be announced in December.

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

  • improving perinatal mental health
  • reducing the percentage of babies born with low birthweight
  • increasing babies being breastfed
  • obesity prevention and support
  • reducing smoking or encouraging smoke-free homes
  • improving learning, speech and language development
  • improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease

It 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 a world-leading 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.