We’re delighted to have had the importance of our Birth and Beyond Community Support work, supporting families in Peterborough, Wisbeech and South Lincolnshire, recognised by Children in Need. Read more.
NCT Birth and Beyond Community Support (BBCS) is a programme that trains local women to become volunteer peer supporters. They offer support to new and expectant mums who may be experiencing day-to-day challenges, feeling isolated or lacking confidence.
Volunteers signpost to local services, accompany women to appointments or local services such as children’s centres, foodbanks or financial advice services. They also provide vital, non-judgemental listening and emotional support.
The project has been supporting families in Peterborough, Wisbeech and South Lincolnshire for over two years. During this time a team of 77 peer supporters have supported over 300 families.
Of our peer supporters on the project, two were BBCS beneficiaries themselves, and nine spoke more than one language. Children in Need has recognised the importance of our BBCS work in these regions, and have provided funding so it may continue.
The COVID-19 crisis has hugely exacerbated the challenges faced by new and expectant parents, particularly for vulnerable groups, families of key workers, families in isolated, rural areas and parents facing multiple disadvantages. It has left many parents, faced with daunting new circumstances, feeling extremely vulnerable and isolated.
Alongside providing emotional support, BBCS volunteers have helped parents access health services, foodbanks, women’s refuges, and financial advice in an ever-changing landscape. With many services on hold or no longer running, BBCS volunteers have been uniquely placed to link families to whatever local resources exist to make sure children are getting the support and care they need.
I met other parents with the same struggles I’ve been having.
One Peterborough mum told us what the scheme meant for her. “I met other parents with the same struggles I’ve been having, and came across the NCT peer supporters that changed my life with all the support they gave me and my little boy,” she explained.
Helen Lloyd, NCT’s Programme Delivery Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been funded by Children in Need. Their flexible approach enables us to best meet needs locally. This will give space for creativity, particularly in more rural Lincolnshire areas where we need to adapt the service further.”
Find out how you can refer yourself, or a mother or pregnant woman to NCT’s Birth and Beyond’s Community Supporters Scheme. Read more about the scheme.