Upfront Saltash: moving forward
By Amy Freathy, Peer Support Volunteer
Where the group was:
Disheartened peer supporters, very few mums attending the group; often none, and a lead peer supporter unable to attend the group often enough made for no atmosphere and an unappealing group for mums to attend.
Decision to make changes:
We decided to change to a day where our more regular peer supporters were able to attend, and equally important, to change to a day that coincided with baby weigh-in clinic.
The group was moved to a Thursday afternoon to not only run alongside the weigh-in clinic but also the sling library.
Links with Midwifery and Health:
Messages are passed between the lead peer supporter and a Health Visitor about mums who may need additional support and expectant mums requesting a breastfeeding support 'buddy'. The Health Visiting Team are clear about where and when the group runs. The current Community Midwife promotes the group in a very positive way and often directs new and expectant mums to us.
How things are now:
Two months on from making the changes, we have definitely seen an increase in the number of mums using the group. We have at least two new faces per week and are starting to see some mums regularly attending. It feels generally busier and more social, this is helped by the sling library directing breastfeeding mums to us and mums popping in before or after attending the weigh-in clinic. We do have a big concern though; we are dramatically low in peer supporters, having gone from eight to three in a matter of months.
I have a huge passion for this group though and I'm hoping that as we see more mums attending, coupled with a drive for new volunteers, we will see the group thrive.