Sharing all the latest news and views from across the ActEarly teams
AntennAE heading
Issue 8 – September 2022
Improving our two-way communications
HELLO AND WELCOME to the latest edition of AntennAE, our regular monthly 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 and news

Diary dates

Methods club, September 14th at 11am 'Unlocking connected data: how can visual analytics help?' with Dr Mai Elshehaly, University of Bradford. Register here

Job vacancies

There are currently no jobs being advertised. 

As new jobs are listed they can be viewed on our LinkedIn page or via our website

Meet the team

SAY hello to Sonia PomboSonia joins us from research and advocacy group Action on Salt and Sugar at QMUL, and will be supporting ActEarly’s Food and Healthy Weight theme, working to encourage food companies to make achievable and sustainable changes in the nutritional profile of packaged food and drink which contribute significantly to children’s salt, sugar and saturated fat intake.
Sonia is a qualified nutritionist with 10 years' experience working in public health. Her areas of expertise include independent monitoring of the food and drink sector, engaging with key stakeholders to encourage reformulation and influencing policy change for improved population health.           

Alliance for life chances event - July 2022

Over 400 delegates flocked to an old industrial mill (Salts Mill) on July 12th to pledge their support for children and young people across Bradford. The delegates were treated to a unique mixture of science, art, and the inspirational stories of young people within Bradford. 
The day highlighted world-leading programmes of research. Parallel sessions provided delegates with the opportunity to hear about national initiatives such as linking health and education records to identify undiagnosed autism, the creation of neurodiversity friendly schools, and the use of air cleaning technologies in schools to combat covid-19. 
The event concluded with everyone signing a giant board where they pledged to help tackle the inequalities blighting our district. The signatures included the CEOs of our health and education services as well as practitioners and communities. The event demonstrated the support in Bradford for our ActEarly vision of improving the health of the next generation. See images from the event here

Piloting the use of the Urban-i Box for future ActEarly interventions

The URBAN-i Box is intended to be used to measure air quality, noise, spatial congestion and risk taking in local neighbourhoods. It was developed to capture the whole scene around the carrier and can analyse multiple components, compare it to past events, and calculate the most likely contributing factors to risk and how to avoid them in the future. For these purposes, it is very much possible for researchers to use the URBAN-i Box across various ActEarly initiatives. We piloted the use of the URBAN-i within a primary school setting in Tower Hamlets, East London, and with a group of pre-teens and adolescents within a Community Centre and greenspace setting in Bradford, West Yorkshire. We worked together with the young people involved to evaluate the use of the URBAN-i Box as an objective measure of the playground environment in their school or local park setting. We also explored ethical considerations like obtaining consent, control over the data collected and implications of its use, as well as issues for the adults working with the children and using technology in open spaces. 

New Healthy Learning video

Our new ActEarly video explains why learning is a key component of the ActEarly programme of work. Prof Mark Mon Williams and Prof Claire Cameron outline why education has the potential to be such a powerful tool for changing the health outcomes of children and young people. Children growing up in disadvantaged areas often leave school with fewer qualifications and ActEarly's vision is to change this to create a fairer and healthier future for all children wherever they live and wherever they go to school. In this video, some of the  different interventions that can change the learning environment and improve the opportunities for children to live long and healthy lives are discussed. For more information on this work visit our website.

Have we got research news for you!

Here is a small snapshot of recent outputs related to ActEarly

Levelling the mental health gradient among young people: How Universal Basic Income can address the crisis in anxiety and depression

Read More


Bringing up the next generation: from research to policy
Read More

Life, Changing Podcast. Episode 1: Modern families
Listen here

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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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