Newham Nurture starting in September

Following a successful pilot, our joint Newham Nurture programme will support women through pregnancy and in the early days across three venues starting this month.

The Newham Nurture Programme is a new community partnership with NCT, Alternatives Trust, The Magpie Project and Compost London. It supports women through pregnancy and up to two years after birth in the East London Borough of Newham, with an aim to promote the health and wellbeing of women from migrant and marginalised backgrounds experiencing financial hardship and disadvantage.

A focus on accessibility and inclusion

The steering group comprises of eleven local women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds with lived experience of local perinatal services.

The programme has a strong focus on co-production, accessibility and inclusion. With co-production at its heart, the steering group comprises of eleven local women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds with lived experience of local perinatal services.

Belinda Ngugi, Newham Nurture Perinatal Programme Manager at NCT said: “Working with our steering group, I’ve seen a real openness amongst the women to acknowledge their own trauma and hardships, and share their diversity of experiences within their perinatal care.

This has been testament to their commitment to seeing positive changes made so that women in our community don’t have to overcome the same unacceptable barriers that they faced. Their lived experience and rich insight have shaped every aspect of the programme, with learning implemented across the design of the service.”

Antenatal sessions

The programme ran pilot antenatal drop-in sessions through June taking place over a three-hour period in the garden of Alternatives Trust and the Magpie Project.

Sessions were flexible, welcoming and informative encouraging mums-to-be to bring along questions they have about their pregnancy, birth and early parenthood and socialise with other women going through a similar experience.

Link worker support was provided at all drop-ins, ensuring women are informed about local services, support agencies and healthy start and wellbeing schemes.

Multi-lingual resources are available and women are able to meet staff and volunteer peer supporters who speak different languages.

Women receive a mum & baby bag with essentials including a newborn clothing set, nappies, sanitary items, toiletries and more.

We were delighted that feedback from our pilot was very positive. Our busy drop-in schedule has now started in mid-September with antenatal sessions and postnatal groups, providing new mums with infant feeding support, delivered from three venues across the borough.

Women are also able to access counselling support through the programme which has normally seen low engagement by our client group due to economic hardship, long waiting times or additional barriers.

Volunteer peer supporters

Volunteer peer supporters are currently being recruited within the local area to provide practical support to pregnant and new mums up to six months after birth.

This will enable and empower them to access maternity services and gain the information and confidence they need during their pregnancy and to care for their baby. Support is provided in a variety of different languages. Meet Bulon, one of our Parents in Mind peer supporters who has further trained within our Newham Nurture programme.

More information

NCT also runs a Parents in Mind service which provides peer support for those who are pregnant, or within the first two years of parenthood. Find out more about the service in Newham, as well as our other Parents in Mind projects in Halton & St Helens and Coventry & Warwickshire.

Our free infant feeding support line is open every day of the year from 8am to midnight – call 0300 330 0700. Find out more about it here.