I received the grant for good in April.
My aim was to run monthly post-natal support groups for new mums to get together in a safe environment, and meet other parents and babies without the pressure of a class.
I also wanted to offer a free space to families who I know wouldn’t be able to access this otherwise.
I have successfully been running our monthly new mum meet-ups. They have been a joy to run. Being able to hold space, a listening ear, and offer the mums a hot drink, without the pressure of attending a taught class, really has been wonderful.
We also created WhatsApp groups from the mums who attended and they have been meeting regularly for pram walks and coffee catch-ups. Even better, lots of them joined classes together so I have been able to keep supporting them on their parenthood journeys. Creating a community as a new parent is so incredibly important, Having the grant has enabled me to run sessions at reduced cost and free to some of the mums, who I knew wouldn’t have been able to access it otherwise.
Not only that, I have been able to have some baby snuggles and wonderful conversations with our local families about what they need and want in our area. Normally when I run a taught class, I’m restricted by the lesson taught time, having the freedom to chat and listen is so insightful.
I have witnessed first hand the power of community and friendship at these sessions. They are a lifeline for some of these mums. Some told me it was the first time they’d left the house on their own with the baby. Or the first group they’d attended. One mum hadn’t met another mum with a baby since leaving the hospital.
I had definitely underestimated the value and power in running this group. The simple offering of a beautiful, safe space, a hot drink cake and the offer to hold the baby really is priceless to these parents.
Without a doubt, they have made me a better teacher, seeing from the other side how the mums are feeling, and what they are thinking without trying to teach. Just holding space and being there has been amazing.
Thank you, Gayle and Blossom and Berry, for providing me with the tools, support and grant that has enabled me to do such wonderful and important work in my community.
I feel so very privileged that I get to do this for my job.
Written by Elisa Congdon of Baby Bear Massage and Yoga