Best Start

The Best Start topic aims to improve the mental and physical health of parents and infants from conception onwards.

This includes developing and evaluating interventions, co-producing and testing measures, and promoting equitable access to support for families.

Best Start Projects

GP drop-in clinics at Family Hubs

Our team are supporting Hull City Council to evaluate a new GP drop-in clinic at a Family Hub. The clinic is available to all families attending certain play sessions at...

Exploring the psychometric properties of parent and child measures

We are working on several projects that will evaluate the psychometric properties and potential utility of measures administered during the early years to both parents and children. We are looking...

Describing and evaluating the Tree Babies intervention

We are working with Phoenix Wellbeing and Hull Museums to understand how parenting groups can use green spaces and nature to promote family wellbeing and positive parent-child interactions for families...

Our Steering Group

The Best Start topic is supported by our amazing team of experts in family well-being. We meet quarterly to discuss Best Start projects, share ideas and advice and plan further research.

Membership of the group is open to anyone working with expectant parents and/or parents, carers and families of babies and young children within the YH ARC region, including researchers, PhD students, practitioners and professionals.

The group is chaired by Best Start topic lead: Dr Sarah Blower, Chartered Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Child Development and Family Wellbeing at the University of York. For more information, please reach out to:

Meet the Best Start Team

Kate Morton

Research Fellow

Josie Dickerson

Director – Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub and Bradford Inequalities Research Unit

Sarah Blower

Principal Research Fellow

Family Advisory Board (FAB)

Our family advisory board includes 2 co-chairs and 20 parents or caregivers in Hull who care for a child aged 0, 1 or 2.

We work closely with the Family Advisory board to design and run Best Start linked projects, as well as identify new priorities for families.

At our first meet-up we discussed experiences of looking after their family’s health, and the following visual summary of the discussion was produced.

If you might be interested in working with the Best Start Family Advisory Board on an existing project or an idea for a grant, please get in touch with Co-Chair of the FAB – Dr Kate Morton:

A huge thank you to all the parents and caregivers who have joined the Family Advisory Board, and to the following organisations:

  • Hull Family Hubs
  • Hull & East Riding LGBTQI+ Forum
  • Phoenix Wellbeing
  • Healthwatch Hull
  • BME Parenting Hull
  • PMH support groups
  • House of Light
  • Healthy lifestyles team
  • Home-Start Hull