VCSE Perinatal & Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Champions – Expression of Interest


VCSE Perinatal & Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Champions

Expression of Interest

The Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership is pleased to be able to offer a funded development opportunity for 3 Perinatal & Parent Infant Mental Health Champions from VCSE groups that work specifically and solely with BAME communities.

What is Perinatal & Parent-Infant Mental Health

The evidence is unequivocal that the first 1,001 days of a child’s life, from pregnancy to age two, are vital in laying the foundations for a happy and healthy life.  The support and wellbeing of babies during this time is strongly linked to better outcomes later in life, including educational achievement, progress at work and physical and mental health.  During this period of time, known as the perinatal period, it is vital that parents and their babies get the support they need.

Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems can occur during this time. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions.

If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family.  Specialist PMH services provide care and treatment for women with complex mental health needs and support the developing relationship between parent and baby.  They also offer women with mental health needs advice for planning a pregnancy.

Greater Manchester has developed a ‘whole system’ model to respond to the early identification, assessment and treatment of families in the perinatal period so that they have access to the right treatment, at the right time, in the right place whilst supporting the parent-infant relationship.  There are various services involved in this whole system approach including specialist health services and local VCSE organisations. 

However, it is recognised that more could be done to work with VCSE organisations working with diverse communities to enhance their knowledge and understanding of PMH and PIMH in order to develop the support they currently offer to families and to help them make sure that families in need of support get help from the right services as soon as they need it.    

Why the BAME focus?

The MBRACE report of 2019 highlighted substantial inequalities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities relating to both maternal and infant mortality and increased risk of poor mental health in the perinatal period.  There are also increased risks for the BAME population due to COVID-19.

It is recognised that local VCSE organisations may be seen as a trusted source of support and therefore it is vital that those VCSE organisations have awareness of perinatal and parent infant mental health so that they can offer the best possible source of support.

What are we looking for?

People who:-

  • Are interested in good mental health.
  • Have an understanding of the barriers to access that families can face due to mental ill health.
  • Are interested in supporting people to access specialist support.
  • Have a willingness to learn about the perinatal experience and services with ready access to their target community on an ongoing and regular basis.
  • Are willing to work with statutory agencies to reduce health inequalities.
  • Are actively working in or offering significant time voluntarily with a number of people in their role.
  • Have well developed and trusted relationships within their specific community.
  • Build understanding between people, are respectful and open to different cultural perspectives, strengthen cultural security and work towards equality in opportunity.
  • Build relationships with members of their community and professionals based on an understanding of each other’s expectations and attitudes, using a wide range of community members and resources to develop their understanding.
  • Take a visible approach sharing key messages and listening, helping combat fears and anxieties in a way that works for them and their community.
  • Be aware of and respectful to the accessing and sharing of confidential information about specific medical conditions, treatments and services.

The Opportunity

Funding of £7,500 per organisation will be provided for each Champion from a maximum of 10 organisations (7 already awarded in principle, 3 places remaining).  Over 12 months, Champions will learn about PMH & PIMH in order to develop their own organisation’s awareness and understanding of this area.  Champions will:

  • Attend a four-day introductory training course (delivered over 4 weeks) in perinatal and parent infant mental health.
  • Learn about local services involved in the GM whole system approach to perinatal and PIMH.
  • Form a new GM Perinatal & PIMH Champions Network that will meet monthly to share experiences, to continue to learn from each other, to learn from health colleagues from across the GM perinatal & PIMH system.
  • Learn from local and national groups working in the area of PIMH and health inequalities.
  • Develop relationships with local Maternity Voice Partnerships.

All of this will:

  • Enable Champions’ organisations to identify perinatal and parent-infant mental health concerns in families they work with.
  • Be able to support and signpost families to GM services as appropriate.
  • Help VCSE organisations to ‘keep baby in mind’ when supporting parents.

Who Can Apply?

This opportunity is open to GM VCSE groups that work specifically and solely with BAME communities.

How to Apply

If you are interested in this role, please answer the questions below and return your application to Lucas Wood at GMCVO: [email protected]

Applications must be submitted by no later than Monday 31st May 2021.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of PMH and PIMH leads from across GM and Champions will be selected according to their reach into communities and commitment to implementing PMH and PIMH knowledge and awareness into their organisations.

For more information or to discuss the opportunity before applying please contact Sarah Cook, CEO at Home-Start HOST [email protected]


Email Address

Your contact telephone number

Name of VCSE organisation that you are currently involved with

Please tell us about your organisation and what services it provides

Where does your organisation work?

Bolton              [   ]                                                       Stockport        [   ]

Bury                [   ]                                                       Wigan              [   ]

Rochdale         [   ]                                                       Salford              [   ]

Oldham           [   ]                                                       Trafford           [   ]

Tameside        [   ]                                                       Manchester     [   ]

GM Wide         [   ]

Please describe the diversity of the communities you work with:

Please tell us the number of hours you regularly work with this community.

Please tell us about your current experience of working with families with children aged 0-2?

Please tell us the average number of families you work with on a weekly basis.

Can you tell us what proportion of your community this is currently?


In what ways will this opportunity help you and your organisation to improve the support you provide to families with children aged 0-2?

Is there anything else you would like to tell us in support of your application?

This opportunity will require attendance at training and monthly network meetings as well as thinking about how best to apply Perinatal & PIMH knowledge into your organisation.

Please give us the name & contact number of the sponsor from the organisation that you are involved with that has agreed to support you to become a Perinatal & Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Champion.