New parents in Queen’s Park are benefitting from a new community support programme which is making a real difference to their lives. Maternity Champion volunteers from Queens Park and Old Oak have been recruited and trained to support families living on the Mozart Estate.
Eleven volunteers have been trained through the NCT’s Birth and Beyond community peer supporter scheme.
The two year programme, run by Paddington Development Trust (PDT), aims to work with vulnerable communities to provide support, link parents to local health and maternity services and reduce social isolation.
NCT research with 26 parents at a Queen’s Park drop-in found nine out of ten of them said they had benefitted from the support while three quarters of the group said they felt more confident about their pregnancy or being a parent.
The training given to the Maternity Champions has led to most of them accessing further education courses. Three have won places on midwifery courses and four have gone on to train as NCT Breastfeeding Peer Supporters.
Caroline Adebayo, a local mother who has been supported by the Maternity Champions, said: “When I went to drop-in sessions, I got to learn how to relate to my baby, how to talk to her, songs to sing her. I was a little down from staying at home too much but the love they showed me really helped.”
Anna Maddox, head of healthcare business development, NCT said: “Though the project is small, the results are significant. Not only have there been very positive benefits for parents, the Maternity Champions themselves have also reaped rewards so it’s been win-win.”
Emma Sweeney, project leader at PDT, said: “We’re really pleased with how this programme is working out and it’s great to see the mums becoming more confident parents and the maternity champions going from strength to strength too.”
The pilot was funded by Westminster City Council.