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Winner and finalists

The winner of the Families Included Prize was announced in February 2017. You can hear from our finalists and judges in our video from our awards evening: 


The winner 

Mums and Families UK

Claire Hawtree and Heather Collins were awarded £10,000 investment in their idea offering peer support to mums and families. 

Claire Hawtree and Heather Collins, Mums and Families

Mums and Families UK is a not for profit organisation offering an innovative peer support programme to mums and families with children aged 0-5, addressing the issues of loneliness and isolation.

The personal experience of founder Claire and work to pilot and evaluate the programme demonstrated the positive impact the work had on the lives of mums and families.  The Challenge Prize offered so much additional support and investment enabling us to train at least two new programme leaders who then went on to expand the project to other geographical locations and enabled us to deliver 12 courses for up to 120 mums.

Claire Hawtree, the founder of Mums and Families UK, said, "We provide a free programme to mums and families of children aged between 0 and 5 years old with a focus on perinatal emotional health and wellbeing.  Our programme is empowering women and their families to adjust to being a parent and to deal with the multitude if issues family life can bring. 

"My personal experiences led me to create Mums and Families UK because I wanted to do more for other mums based on what was at the time a sad, traumatic and lonely experience. Having received the right support and a full recovery something truly positive has been established.

Being part of the Challenge Prize process was the most amazing experience and has played a significant part in giving us the ability to accelerate the plans we had for Mums and Families UK."

Runner up 

Interactive Family Dance

Gemma Wright was awarded £5,000 investment in her idea to improve families their young children's health and well-being. 

Gemma WrightInteractive Family Dance has demonstrated a reduction in the social isolation of parents and carers with children between the ages of 0 -5 years of age and an increase in their general health and well-being.  All of our projects welcome you to explore movement and dance as a family with your child/children under the age of 5 years.

Sessions are delivered by a dance artist and are designed to encourage creativity and independent thinking, nurture individual expression in the participant’s own movement, as well develop a memory for movement. All activity is designed to build children’s strength, balance, coordination and encourage healthy physical development and bonding for both child and parent

Gemma Wright, Interactive Family Dance said, "We set out to see what we could do by putting together creative dance with basic nutritional information to address various health issues including childhood obesity, loneliness and isolation.

"The sessions included elements of education for young dancers and their parents but were mainly about the dance and about them having fund in a safe environment that doesn’t patronize them and gets mums and children involved in physical activity. After the dancing we talk and make friends over a cup of tea and a healthy snack."

The finalists 

Each awarded £1,500 investment and non-financial support to test and develop their ideas. 


Nicole Bloom's idea was a peer led programme for families whose children have additional needs enabling them to access expert advice in a safe, supportive environment.

Healthy Living Solutions - Hug-in-a-box

Claire Snell and Sue Bayles proposed providing a box of nice items, information and advice for new mums who may be lonely or socially isolated, providing an opportunity to talk face to face in the home.

Uttlesford Buffy Buss Association - Moving together for a brighter future

Rosie Juhl's idea was about adding value to the existing service by taking early intervention and specialist support and advice out to parents in the community who otherwise might not get it.

Home Start Chelmsford - Moving Up Together 

Nic O'Brien created a wellbeing group to enable face to face contact and an opportunity for parents to talk, supported by provision of a crèche.

Volunteering Matters - Healthy Minds: Happy Families

Jill Williams' idea built on the core work of Volunteering Matters to use trained volunteers to provide emotional and practical family support to mums-to-be and vulnerable mums.

Parents 1st - Fit4Mums and Families

Sally Taylor and Lorraine Campbell's idea was to develop a postnatal exercise programme for mums that enabled them to bring their babies with them and develop peer relationships.