Community Champions Supporting Health


To co-create a complex multi-component ‘community mobilisation’ intervention which creates a ‘community platform’ to identify, recruit, train, connect, retain and support community assets/champions to engage with and disseminate accessible evidence-based messages about healthy child development as part of their ‘everyday interactions’ with parents and families.


Brief description of the work

Early developmental opportunities establish a critical foundation for children’s health, academic success and general wellbeing over the life course, however, Local Authority funding cuts have led to the closure of 14% of Children’s Centres since 2009 and those that remain offer only limited targeted services and have shorter opening times. The future of Children’s Centres remains uncertain, highlighting the need for a new model for delivering universal support in the early years in a way that is accessible and can engage parents across the socio-economic spectrum. The ‘community platform’ will be designed to identify and mobilise ‘people of influence’ in the community who are in regular contact with preschool children and their parents to be ‘diffusion/dissemination’ agents of knowledge about healthy child development and promote positive parenting behaviours. The child development messages and overall approach will be derived from a popular and well known parenting model called Thrive ™ , delivered by professionals in schools and Children’s Centres across the UK. Thrive takes a relational approach to parenting and is informed by research into neuroscience, child development, attachment, creativity and play.



Public Health Devon, Action for Children, Thrive, CoLab


For more information contact: Dr Jenny Lloyd