NCT meets the Duchess of Cambridge to discuss peer support for new mums

We were delighted to attend a Royal Foundation engagement this week, to talk about the important work our peer supporters do to help mums experiencing mental health difficulties.

Protecting emotional wellbeing

On Wednesday, Sarah McMullen, NCT’s Director of Impact and Engagement, was joined by Nalini and Jessie, volunteer peer supporters from NCT services in Edinburgh and Newham, for an informal meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge. During their discussion in London’s Battersea Park, they focused on the important role that peer support can play in promoting the emotional wellbeing of pregnant women and new mums.

They talked about NCT’s three peer support programmes: breastfeeding peer support services on postnatal wards and in community settings, Parents in Mind perinatal mental health peer support and Birth and Beyond Community Support for women struggling with social isolation and accessing services.

Together with Rosh, an NCT breastfeeding peer supporter from Edinburgh, Sarah also joined a video call with the Duchess and other charities providing peer support.

Support in challenging circumstances

NCT's Sarah McMullen, meets the Duchess of Cambridge with volunteers Nalini and Jessie

The Duchess was particularly interested in hearing about the changes that COVID-19 has brought about for expectant and new parents, and how peer support can be adapted in these challenging circumstances.

We described how our peer programmes quickly moved their support online following the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year.

We also highlighted the enormous efforts made by our volunteers, practitioners and staff across all parts of the charity. We’re so pleased that the value of peer support for pregnant women and new parents has been recognised and highlighted in this way by the Royal Foundation.

More information

Find out more about the event, which included a roundtable meeting with other charities providing peer support services for new parents.

Read more about our Parents in Mind initiative, which trains local volunteers to support women experiencing emotional health difficulties in pregnancy and within the first two years after birth.