Since starting the community group 10 months ago, I have welcomed over 75 women through the door. My objective was to create a warm and welcoming environment that created a safe space for mums to come to and get some peer support. I also wanted to offer some pampering sessions/treatments that could help melt tension away or just help mums feel a little more relaxed within their own bodies.
The group currently offers hand massages and reiki once a month, and these services are delivered by volunteers . I also have a local CBT therapist, who volunteers one a month, she offers advice within the group or 45 minute one on one sessions. I provide breakfast, hot drinks, fruit and snacks every session and we have created a really support space where mums support each other with their children and share experiences with no judgement. We have so many different people come and chat and support the group, it really is a great sense of community and a real safe haven for mums.
My initial thoughts were that the group would be for new mums, so mums with children aged 0-2 yrs. However, I really had no real plan in which direction it would go. I have just let it grow organically and followed the needs of the women who attend. The group is open to all women at any stage of motherhood. so it doesn’t matter how old your children are, YOU ARE WELCOME!
Children are welcome and we have a nice space for them too. I am extremely thankful for the time and effort the volunteers put in, because without them it would be difficult to run. I also run the sessions over the holidays (when I’m not away), and we called them ‘Family sessions’. We use the centre to meet up and do crafts, play games etc. It gives mums that port of call when the idea of the school holidays can feel isolating and expensive.
Here is what a couple of the mums have said about attending the group –
” I just want to thank you for this morning. I’ve come home feeling lighter! It was so refreshing to go to a group and not feel like you needed to play a certain role or worry about what people think of you. I think what you’re doing is fantastic.”
” I enjoy coming to the group as it is a relief to be around like-minded people. Whether you want to vent about your feelings or just sit and listen. Just having somewhere to go where there is no pressure or pretence is a great benefit to me.”
As well a the support group session I also have a closed Facebook group that encourages women to share their concerns or experiences but also offer each advice. Not every can get to the group session so this is another support resource for them to use.