Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service is calling on mums across Essex to become volunteers to help boost breastfeeding rates.
As well as promoting the benefits of breastfeeding for mums and babies, volunteers are trained by expert staff from Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service – which is provided by Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo’s – to provide practical peer-to-peer breastfeeding support and evidenced based infant feeding information to all mothers.
Volunteers run breastfeeding groups and offer breastfeeding support within local community based parent and toddler groups.
Volunteers are also available to provide breastfeeding support within family drop-ins at local Family Hubs (children’s centres) and Delivery Sites across Essex.
Drop-in sessions will be relaxed and welcoming and mums can attend for one-to-one breastfeeding support or just to meet other local mothers.
Dionne Wilson, Public Health Specialist and Lead for Infant Feeding, said: “There is strong evidence that Breastfeeding improves the long-term health and social outcomes for mothers and babies and Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service is committed to increasing the uptake and duration of breastfeeding across the county.
“Breastfeeding can be daunting for new mothers and it is great to have experienced mums lending a helping hand in sharing their knowledge and offering a kind ear at the same time.”
Judith Fantousi, Family Voice Manager, added: “Breastfeeding is hugely beneficial to mums and babies, and with the right support a mother’s breastfeeding journey can be truly rewarding and something to enjoy. “We’re looking for mums to come forward to become breastfeeding volunteers so they can help support new mums in their local area.
“It is really helpful to have local people delivering the support in the community and all volunteers will receive training from our breastfeeding champions”.
Katie Ellis is a breastfeeding volunteer at Billericay’s Sunnyside Healthy Family Delivery Site.
Katie said: “I think all the volunteers in our group would say that there is nothing more rewarding than a mum who attends one of our sessions feeling overwhelmed and leaves feeling more confident and comfortable, feeling she has been listened to.
“Volunteering is rewarding and it makes you feel great in the process of helping others feel great. It also brings new skills and new friendships whilst making a difference so please get in touch to find out more”.
For more information about becoming a breastfeeding volunteer or receiving support from the scheme at the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, please contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Clare Chinery on 07500 120 884.
The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service ensures that families have free and easy access to local health services in the community; whether in a Family Hub, outreach site or in a family’s home.
The focus is on making sure that every baby and child in Essex has the best possible start in life with support from community services that are accessible, high quality and meet the identified needs of children, young people and families.
The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service have been asked to showcase their innovative family hubs to senior politicians and decision-makers at a special event in Parliament.
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