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A Better Future for Blackpool’s Children

19 June 2014

The Blackpool Better Start Partnership, led by the NSPCC has today been awarded £45 million to help parents give their children the best start in life through our A Better Start programme.

We hear from a local dad, Dave Bannister, 47, who lives with his wife Tracy and their daughter Rebekah, 4. Dave is one of many parents who have supported the partnership in developing their proposal.


Dave Bannister and his daughter Rebekah.

Dave moved to Blackpool from London in 2006 to work on the Blackpool transport system. When Tracy became pregnant four years ago he admits that he struggled to feel connected to the unborn child. But the moment Rebekah was born his feelings changed “I cut the umbilical cord and my heart leapt for joy and that initial happiness and joy is still there four years later”

Dave’s wife Tracy has been engaged with the mental health services in Blackpool since they moved to the area so he is glad of the easy accessibility of a wide range of services that the Children’s centre offers. Not just for the children but for the whole family.

Since getting involved Dave and has made new friends and Rebekah gets to spend time with other children and joins in a lot of the services they offer such as arts and crafts which Dave thinks can be crucial for developing social skills. He has also learnt a lot about good nutrition and the importance of communications skills in building the foundations for future development and health.

Dave has been involved in the bid from the start and says that “We wanted to engage all of the community and that includes fathers as well, often a lot of the services are geared towards women and I know from personal experience that the services could be more inclusive”

Dave said that there is a community spirit in Blackpool and there are people with vision who are trying to engage. He believes this funding will help to leave a legacy for future generations.

“It is important that parents are involved in this as they understand and genuinely want to build a better future for their children. A parent that is local and honest talking means they are more likely to engage and it really gives the community a voice”




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