• Sat. May 14th, 2022

‘Inclusive’ support group launched in Northampton for mums struggling with loneliness and postnatal depression

ByJulie J. Helfer

Mar 10, 2022

Three mums from Northampton have come together to start a support group to help other mums struggling with parenthood.

Donna Holland, 36, Joanna Smith, 49, and Ruth Bithell, 37, met at a parent support group last year and they quickly became friends. They leaned on each other for support and advice, met regularly over coffee, and effectively became each other’s rocks.

It made them realize how “lucky” they were to have a strong support system. In February 2022, they therefore created a Facebook support group with the aim of providing the same opportunity to other mums in Northampton called “No Mum Left Behind”. Manager Donna said: “Our long-term goal is to make sure no mum is left behind – that’s really what it says on the box. We don’t want anyone to feel alone. I can just ‘I can’t imagine not having the mom friends that I’ve made.

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(Left to right) Ruth Bithell, Joanna Smith and Donna Holland.

“We’ve been friends for six months, but it feels like we’ve been friends forever. We started the group to support women in every way we can.”

Donna, Joanna and Ruth were paying up to £200 per parenting support course, which made them notice the lack of accessibility for struggling low-income mothers.

The support group was launched on February 11 and has since grown to 164 members.

Donna continued: “We try to reach low-income mothers, single mothers and ethnic minority mothers because I don’t think support groups are very accessible to them.

“I think the fact that we all have kids kind of brings everyone together. I want this group to be inclusive.”

The group plans to hold regular get-togethers, walks in the park, swimming sessions and has even worked with Baby Basics to ensure underprivileged mums have everything they need to care for their little ones.

Local businesses have already offered space for the support group to meet and chat while their babies play for free.

The support group also hopes to hold events to raise money for local parenting charities to buy toys for babies to play with when they meet.

Donna added: “Some of the messages we get make you cry. Some mums are new to the area and don’t know anyone else. Some mums are on a low income and want someone to hang out with for a walk.

“A lot of mums have postpartum depression and their partners have gone back to work, so they have no one to talk to.”

‘No Mum Left Behind’ is constantly looking for local businesses that can provide free spaces for their members to meet.

If you are a local business that can support this group, email [email protected]