Sharing all the latest news and views from across the ActEarly teams
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Issue 3 – March 2022
Improving our two-way communications
HELLO AND WELCOME to the third edition of AntennAE, a new e-bulletin to keep everyone involved with ActEarly up-to-date with all our latest news. We have fellow researchers, exploring the complexities of ant communication, to thank for its title. It was they who discovered that ants not only pick up information through their antennae but also use them to convey social signals. It was the first time antennae have been found to be a two-way communication device, rather than just a receptor. So we very much hope that as well reading our news, you will share your updates too – and contribute to our future success. 
Please email with your news, stories, events and notices by the last Friday of the month at 12 noon.

Upcoming opportunities

Diary dates

WEDNESDAY April 6th – Methods Club. Guest speaker is Professor Ioan Fazey, University of York and he'll be discussing 'Transformations in a complex and uncertain world: Implications for stewardship and understanding progress towards change.' Sign up via Eventbrite

Research vacancies from partner organisations:

1) 3 year research role at the University of Bradford: Click for details
2) Post doc research associate with the Open University: click for details
3) Reader/ professor in primary care research, QMUL: click for details

Meet the team

SAY hello to Sam Relins who has recently started working with ActEarly. Sam is a Research Fellow based at the Bradford Institute for Health Research with a special interest in data science applied statistics and machine learning. He is working on the DATA1 project that falls under the ActEarly Healthy Learning theme. DATA1 aims to unlock the power of connecting data from the many children’s services in Bradford that are traditionally “siloed” from one another, leveraging this huge data source to identify and help children at risk of adverse outcomes. Sam is currently using these connected data to study the identification and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, drawing on data from Bradford’s primary schools, children’s social services and primary healthcare services.
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

ActEarly Earning and Learning: Work-care decisions and young children in Tower Hamlets

ActEarly Healthy Learning and Healthy Livelihoods theme has been working closely with Tower Hamlets Early Years Early Education and Childcare Service team, and the Family Information Service, on a study to better understand the work-care decisions of families in Tower Hamlets, and how to support them. After the pandemic lockdowns, fewer young children than previously returned to early education and childcare provision. The research evidence is clear: children benefit from high quality provision, so it is important to understand why fewer families are sending their children to pre-schools, childminders, day nurseries and school-based nurseries. The overall aim of the study is to understand how families decide whether or not to take up the early education and childcare offers in Tower Hamlets.  

What makes the best start in life for children in Tower Hamlets? 

Since June 2020, and the early stages of the pandemic, Bromley by Bow’s ActEarly Community Research team has consulted more than 500 local families to identify “What makes the best start in life for children in Tower Hamlets?”. Against the backdrop of restricted movement, increased instability and withdrawn family support – and in response, great resilience and adaptation from families themselves - families shared with
the research team their dreams, challenges and suggestions to achieve their vision of a best start in life for their children. This means a safe, green, clean outdoors; access to play and opportunities to enrich life and socialise with others; a partnership of support around each child to balance safety and build independence; and work towards a more inclusive society where families’ basic needs are met. 
These findings will inform and influence the future direction of ActEarly's work in Tower Hamlets. View the full report via our website.


JU:MP is Bradford’s Local Delivery Pilot funded by Sport England, which aims to test and learn more about what helps children and families to be active. It will evaluate the impact of taking a whole systems approach to physical activity by working with families, communities, schools, and organisations and by making improvements to the environment. JU:MP covers a defined area of North Bradford and will run until 2024.
A new vision and 9 ambitions have been proposed by Active Bradford and Living Well to embed physical activity within policy and in practice across the district. A physical activity strategy group has been brought together to drive towards a vision of an active district, where it’s easy for people to move every day. 80 partners from across charity, voluntary, statutory, sports and education sectors came together in December to discuss the ambitions and explore priorities for action. The next step is to consult with senior leaders and politicians across the district for their ideas and input.

Have we got research news for you!

Here is a small snapshot of our recent academic outputs:

Development of a ‘real-world’ logic model through testing the feasibility of a complex healthcare intervention: the challenge of reconciling scalability and context-sensitivity
Read more
A review of the effectiveness and experiences of welfare advice services co-located in health settings: A critical narrative systematic review
Read More

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ActEarly are working with local communities, local authorities and other national organisations to understand how we can help families live healthier and more active lives.

This work was supported by the UK Prevention Research Partnership, an initiative funded by UK Research and Innovation Councils, the Department of Health and Social Care (England) and the UK devolved administrations, and leading health research charities. Read more
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