Earlier this year I was given the massive news that I had been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship (http://www.wcmt.org.uk/categories/early-years-prevention-intervention). This meant I could travel to learn more about the topic I feel most passionately about (parent infant projects!) to anywhere I wanted to go in the world (I chose the inspiring city of New York and around).
It was astonishing news, as over 1000 people apply for the Fellowships. In my mind, it had been only ever a long shot - to follow a dream and my passion for early intervention with babies and their parents.
Right now I am preparing to leave on the 1st November for this adventure and still cannot believe my luck (or actually that it is even quite real) and that I have been granted the honour of this trip.
The mission: to travel and and gather knowledge, understanding, and practical skills in the field of parent infant projects, specifically how to reach those families who might not necessarily come forward and speak out and demand support for their parent infant relationship - yet who possibly need it the most.
The plan: to visit, talk, listen and learn from as many knowledgeable and inspiring people - active in the field of early intervention, infant mental health, and parent infant therapy - as possible. Traveling around Manhattan, Harlem, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island and visiting teaching colleges such as Columbia University, The New York Center for Child Development and the New School for Social Research in New York.
The aim: To develop insight into how to reach those families we really need to reach, and bring this back to the U.K.