Community Corner - Our regular spotlight on a grassroots VCS organisation in the perinatal mental health sector
What is the name of your organisation and when did you set up?
Happy Mamas was set up in February 2020
What prompted you to set up in the first place?
After the birth of my second child, I experienced a range of mental health challenges and was surprised to find a lack of support for new mums within the community. I was determined that this should change. With help from our local council and support from my friend who also had a tough time after her baby was born, Happy Mamas was launched just before the pandemic hit.
Where are you based?
Solihull which is located just south of Birmingham
What services do you offer and who do you support?
We provide weekly peer support sessions which offer a safe, non-judgemental space for new mums to talk about the challenges of early motherhood, share concerns, giggle about all those nappy explosions with fellow mums and share in the little wins!
Our sessions include a simple craft activity which mums can complete whilst they chat to other mums and their little ones are entertained by toys.
What do you find most rewarding about running your service?
Supporting mums when they are at their lowest and then seeing them come out onto the other side in a much better place. We all know that a happy mum tends to mean a happier baby, but it can also mean a happier household and family in general. If we can make an impact towards that then that’s a pretty amazing achievement.
How might it be helpful to you and your organisation to come together as a wider VCS perinatal mental health community & work more closely?
Sharing funding opportunities, learning about ways to grow and develop our service, and learning from others who have had success and failure is really valuable.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when starting-up, what would it be?
Have self-belief: I suffer terribly from imposter syndrome!
If you could give all parents a super-power what would that be and why?
Sleep deprivation is a constant theme new mums talk about. No-one can prepare you for how awful it can make you feel. So it would be to give them the power to require zero sleep and still be able to function well (and hold a conversation without forgetting mid way through what they were talking about!)
Anything you’d like to tell us about your service or organisation? Any recent wins or things to celebrate?
We’re looking to extend our group to other areas including Birmingham and Warwickshire. Watch this space!