When I was a new Mum I attended several Mums and Tots groups at churches and in retrospect it occured to me that they may have a helpful role to play given some training and guidance. David agreed with me and we got his church in Morley, Leeds involved and had an evening where we invited church members, NHS professionals, Children's Centre staff and other interested organisations. The account of the evening is here:-
Last night I received this update from David :-
I saw Louise (the Children's centre manager) last week at an evening event at Church and had a good chat, plus I find out from John (member of Church) & others how things are going in general. The group is now onto it third intake of mums and at the launch coffee morning the other Friday there were 8 or 9 mums which Louise was really pleased about. She says this about the max no. that she can handle.
The various people from church continue to do their bits, as we still believe this is a very important part of our outreach.
Louise said that she has had a new health visitor for each group, and this is helping to get the word around - hence the numbers for the new intake.
All the mums are from Health Visitor referrals.
I am wondering if it is time to re-visit the need for more groups in the area? Louise says that the group WILL continue, despite potential budget cuts, A) because it doesn't use much of her budget, B) it's one of the key NHS targets.
That means that we have an interesting model in place here, in that if other churches were to provide the building and general support, then the "professionals" could do their bit with the mums, and it wouldn't require "large budgets" to be made available to fund the setup.
To say I am pleased and excited is an understatement. It just shows that by bringing people together REAL differences and innovation can be made.
Better go and make some more plans to initiate some more groups.
Have you a local church that might like to do a similar thing?