Deal Breast Feeding Support Group
The Deal Breast Feeding Support Group contacted Red Zebra, concerned that NHS funding for the local breast feeding support group was being withdrawn; since this funding paid for hire of the church hall where they met the group was in danger of closing.
The manager had no previous experience of setting up a group and our Development Officer was able to offer advice on an appropriate governing document and to support an initial funding application to Deal Town Council for a few hundred pounds to cover hire of the church hall for a year.
From that modest start the group have flourished. They are now self-funding; in addition to everyday running costs the group generate sufficient surplus to enable them to send group members for training with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and are now providing a more comprehensive service that is very much appreciated. One of the younger mums supported states:
“When I was 16 I became pregnant and I really wanted to breast feed. I was very young and it was hard and I would have given up but my midwife referred me to this group. At 16 I thought I was going to be walking into a group of middle aged hippies! They were mainly older than me not surprisingly but they weren’t what I was expecting. They were just lovely helpful, supportive mums who knew what it felt like to feel like you were the only one struggling. I didn’t look back I was able to breast feed my first child for over a year and now five years later I am still here, able to support other mums and breast feeding my second child.”
In addition to running their own group they have established the Deal Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme, signing up local businesses that are provided with a vinyl window sticker signifying their welcome to breastfeeding mothers.
The Deal Breast Feeding Support Group has gained national profile and has been consulted by other groups locally, nationally and from abroad.