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Meet the finalists

The nine finalists

Launched in May 2016, the Families Included Prize asked people in Essex to come forward with innovative ideas that could reduce social isolation of families with young children. 50 ideas were received from individuals and organisations across Essex ranging from themed support groups and craft activities to groups for grandparents. The judging panel selected nine finalists who will be supported to develop and test their ideas over the next four months before submitting a final proposal in January 2017. The winner will be selected in February 2017.

Craft n Natter

Craft N Natter

Bringing together parents of young disabled children in a relaxed comfortable setting to participate in crafting activities, while their children are cared for in an onsite crèche. This gives parents the chance to meet with others in similar situations while accessing support and signposting from the skilled facilitators.

Dance and Nutrition Programme

Dance Network

Dance classes paired with nutritional information in family centres addressing the health issues related to childhood obesity. Both young dancers and parents will be educated in a fun and non patronising environment.

Fit4Mums and Family Exercise Classes


A scheme to enable mums to continue the exercise sessions they have attended while pregnant after the birth of their baby. Those who already have a toddler would also be able to attend, providing the family with the opportunity to model exercise as a part of family life.

Healthy Minds – Happy Families

Healthy Minds

One-to-one sessions with volunteers to provide emotional and practical family support for mums-to-be and new mums at risk of developing or affected by perinatal mental health issues (depression and anxiety) in Harlow.

Home-Start Well-being Group

Home Start Well-being

A weekly well-being group for parents to meet and share problems. A crèche for pre-school children will be provided as well as relaxation sessions for parents.

Hug in a Box

Hug in a box

A bespoke support scheme for parents involving a volunteer peer support worker, 8 wellbeing workshops with a crèche, wellbeing goodies, resources and materials as well an online network and blog.

Moving Together for a Brighter Future

Moving together

Support services enabling families to address issues around social and financial isolation. The services include mobile outreach support or early intervention programmes.

Mums and Families

Mums and Families

A free support programme for mums who suffer with low levels of emotional well-being and are feeling overwhelmed with the challenges that being a parent can bring. The idea will enable mums to share their feelings and develop friendships with others who have similar experiences.



This scheme will provide opportunities for parents of special needs children to meet, encourage and support each other. A model of promoting a “buddying system” that fosters non-judgemental support. A safe and open environment that allows advice, skills and knowledge of local resources and strategies available to support the individual child.

Nine Challenge Prize finalists