PARENTS across the country will benefit from the work of an Oxfordshire charity that has just won a grant of more than £127,000.

Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP) has received the government cash to train early years professionals in the social and emotional development of babies. They will then use their skills to help parents in Oxfordshire and beyond develop loving and secure bonds with their youngsters.

Executive director Adrian Sell said: “We are delighted that the Department of Education has granted OXPIP this money. The grant will ensure more professionals are trained in parent-infant psychotherapy, helping more families develop a stronger bond between parent and baby at the crucial early stages of a baby’s life.”

OXPIP was launched in 1998 and has been working in Oxfordshire for 17 years supporting parents who struggle with the demands of a new baby.

The charity works with babies up to the age of two, their mother, and sometimes their father.

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Mr Sell said the £127,472 grant announced last week is in recognition of the important work OXPIP has been doing over the years.

He said: “There is a lot of national interest in what we do because we are one of the few interventions that early in life so, while we started in Oxford and have been working in Oxford all that time, we are getting quite a high-profile nationally.

“The funding from the Department for Education is about carrying on some of that work but also sharing the knowledge we have both in Oxford and beyond more effectively.”

Twelve people have just gone through the charity’s training programme and 15 more are due to undergo training, coming from as far afield as Hull, Brighton and South Wales.

OXPIP, which is based in Kidlington, also runs training programmes for people in health centres locally and further afield in places such as Enfield and Lambeth, in London.

The charity recently teamed up with a national movement called 1,001 Days which calls on the government to prioritise the first 1,001 days of a baby’s life.

They will urge the government and councils to make children’s centres a central source of support for families with children aged two and under.

Places such as Liverpool and Northampton will use the template developed by OXPIP. Some of the grant will also fund a university-level study on the effectiveness of the charity’s work.

Mr Sell said: “It’s really good this Oxford born and bred organisation now has a national profile, national coverage and there is cross-party support for us and similar organisations.”