Hayley from NCT Doncaster wins Highly Commended at local awards

Congratulations to Hayley from NCT Doncaster who was Highly Commended in the Antenatal/Postnatal Worker or Volunteer of the Year in the Doncaster Mumbler Awards! She tells us more…

Hayley McGovern, a Breastfeeding Counsellor and Antenatal Practitioner from NCT Doncaster, bagged a coveted highly commended award for Antenatal/Postnatal Support Worker of the Year at the Doncaster Mumbler Awards last month. You can see the full list of winners here.

We asked Hayley a few questions about what she does…

1. You're a Breastfeeding Counsellor and Antenatal Practitioner. Could you tell us what the work involves for both of those?

I meet expectant parents and their birth supporters during pregnancy and have the absolute pleasure of facilitating their Antenatal Classes and the three hour session on Breastfeeding.

Hayley and volunteers at the awards

I am there to support these families through pregnancy, birth and the early days. What’s unique about what I do is that I am duel qualified with NCT.

So I see them as part of the Antenatal Classes, Breastfeeding Session and then I see some of them when their babies are born at my weekly Baby Café’s which I run online and face to face.

Baby Café is a welcoming space for parents to build a strong peer support network and be provided with support and information on feeding their babies or children.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love all of aspects of my role, but the one thing that makes it really special is seeing expectant parents turn into actual parents and then walking alongside them as their babies grow into tiny little people.

I have been in practice now since September 2021 so I have seen parents from my very first course go through the pregnancy, birth and the early days and then said goodbye to them as they return to work. It’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to facilitate a space for these parents to thrive in their transition to parenthood.

3. Do you work on your own or as part of a team?

I am the only NCT Practitioner in Doncaster so most of my work is completed alone.

Volunteers really are a special kind of human!

Baby Café runs as part of the wider playgroup Bumps, Babies and Beyond where we have a small team of wonderful volunteers who give their time each week to provide the families of Doncaster a lovely place to come with their families.

I couldn’t do this part of the role without the support of these people, volunteers really are a special kind of human!

4. How did the award nomination come about?

The parents of NCT Doncaster voted for us. We were nominated in two categories, Mumblers Favourite Class/Activity for Bumps, Babies and Beyond and Antenatal/Postnatal Support Worker or Volunteer of the Year for my work with NCT.

This is the first time that NCT Doncaster has received a vote so we were all really proud and excited when the nominations came around, it felt like a win in itself. Voting was open for one month and I went through with the top 5 nominations.

5. What does achieving Highly Commended mean to you?

Receiving the news that I had been nominated and then put through for a chance to actually receive the award meant so much to me.

Hayley with her Highly Commended certificate

When I read the comments that parents had left it made me really emotional, I did not expect it at all. We are the only charity that received a nomination and knowing that some of the good work we do is on a volunteer basis, without all the extra cash and resources of the other businesses felt like a huge win. I was so proud that this work had been recognised.

The early days of motherhood were a challenging and lonely time for me and my main aim with the work I do is to make that experience better for others. This award validated that the hard work I was putting in was really working! I have it proudly hanging in my home office and will treasure it forever.

More info

To find local feeding support, as well as drop-in groups and activities in your area, put your postcode in the search field on this page.

You can also call our free Infant Feeding Line every day from 8am to midnight on 0300 330 0700, even over the festive period.

Take a look at what free groups and activities are happening in your area.