Survey will judge share of cash fund

A survey is taking place to help bring a huge cash windfall to the county to boost the health and wellbeing of children and families.

Northumberland has been shortlisted to bid for a significant slice of £165m from the Big Lottery Fund for services to benefit children in the earliest years of life.

But to clinch the funding, Northumberland County Council must make a detailed case supported by the latest information about the needs of residents.

To help them, a doorstep survey is taking place.

BMG Research has been commissioned to knock on doors across the 15 competing authorities on the shortlist, aiming to interview more 11,000 parents or guardians of children under nine.

Information will be used to make the case for a share of the investment by the Big Lottery Fund as part of its national ‘Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start’ campaign.

Coun Robert Arckless, the county council’s policy board member for children’s services, said: “We would very much like to assure parents and guardians that this survey is genuine and legitimate.

“This could be a great opportunity for families with young children.

“The information gained will give an overall picture of child wellbeing in Northumberland to help us make the best possible case for the Big Lottery Fund grant.”