Validate your membership/access to the iHV Champion hub here to receive your password.
Not a member? Join here.

The Princess of Wales launches ‘Shaping Us’ campaign to raise awareness of the unique importance of early childhood

31st January 2023

Yesterday evening, Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director, was honoured to attend The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood’s campaign launch preview of their major new ‘Shaping Us’ campaign which aims to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of life. The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted the event at BAFTA in London and were joined by dignitaries and representatives from a range of organisations working in the earliest years from across the UK.

Spearheaded by The Princess of Wales, with support from a range of high-profile figures from the world of media, music, science and sports, the campaign will officially launch today. Shaping Us kickstarts with the release of a short film highlighting the incredible rate at which our brain develops before the age of five and how this can shape the rest of our lives. The campaign also highlights how every single person in our society has a role to play in creating change.

Shaping Us is a new long-term campaign from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood which aims to transform the issue from one of scientific interest, to one of the most strategically important topics of our time. The 90-second claymation film shows how a little girl named Layla develops from pregnancy to age five and how she is shaped by her interactions with the people and environment around her. The short film, which features a track by Lokki entitled “Breathe a Breath of Me”, will appear on Piccadilly Lights at Piccadilly Circus and will be screened in cinemas across the UK from Friday. 

Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales said:

“The way we develop, through our experiences, relationships, and surroundings during our early childhood, fundamentally shapes our whole lives. It affects everything from our ability to form relationships and thrive at work, to our mental and physical well-being as adults and the way we parent our own children.

“These are the most preventative years. By focusing our collective time, energy, and resources to build a supportive, nurturing world around the youngest members of our society and those caring for them, we can make a huge difference to the health and happiness of generations to come.  

“All of society has a role to play in this, even if you are not directly involved in a child’s life, because we are all responsible for building a more compassionate world in which our children can grow, learn and live.

“In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to help support parents and caregivers provide loving, safe and secure homes for their babies and young children to thrive.”

Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director said:

“As health visitors, we are delighted that The Princess of Wales is shining a spotlight on the importance of the earliest years of life. We have more evidence than any other generation that our early experiences lay the foundations for our future health and wellbeing. The brilliant short film ‘Shaping Us’ about a little girl named Layla captures years of research in 90 seconds – see if you can spot the key messages.

“Yet, despite this plethora of evidence, too many children are not getting the promised ‘best start in life’. Across the UK we have widening child health and development inequalities and services are struggling to meet the scale of need. We hope that this campaign raises the profile of these issues and provides the impetus for much-needed change – when parents are supported, babies thrive and in turn, the whole of society thrives.


The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood are also launching a new Instagram channel as part of the campaign alongside their other social media channels:  

Join the conversation