On 28 October 2021 Mothers for Mothers was honoured to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE to the New Fulford Family Centre in Hartcliffe.
They were welcomed to the building by Mothers for Mothers Chair of Trustees, Belinda Cox, Finance Manager Justine Rowe and CEO Maria Viner. HRH The Duke of Gloucester took part in a round table discussion with some members of the Mothers for Mothers team, talking to them about Maternal Mental illness, their work and their own experiences.
Nixie Rigel, Peer Support Worker and Groups Co-ordinator
Nixie was a beneficiary of Mothers for Mothers. She attended the peer support groups when she was ill after the birth of her third child. Following her recovery Nixie returned to Mothers for Mothers and completed the volunteer training course. She then worked as a volunteer on the helpline and support call service during Covid-19.
Due to the increased demand for our services a new staff position of client care representative was created; Nixie was key in the development of this new role and successful in her application to join the staff team. After six months she was promoted to Groups Co-ordinator which is the post she really aspired to. Nixie has been working hard to transform the group service into one which now meets the ever increasing and complex needs of women who have been pregnant and given birth during the lockdown and pandemic period.
Sapna Boden, Peer Support Worker
Sapna is a mum of 2 and suffered from perinatal depression and anxiety after the birth of her first child which resurfaced once her second child was born. She valued all the support she received from attending a weekly Mothers for Mothers group as a beneficiary.
Sapna is a qualified SENDCo but during the pandemic she decided she wanted to change career. Sapna completed the volunteer training programme and has now joined the staff team so she can support mums and help them find that ‘rainbow’ in same way she was helped. Sapna is passionate about diversity and inclusion and hopes she will be able to reach out to Asian mums who need our support. Sapna enjoys gardening, cooking and DIY/interior design but struggles using a drill!
Chloe Spindlove, Lead Art Psychotherapist and Therapy Co-ordinator
Chloe experienced anxiety and depression during pregnancy and after the birth of her children. When she had recovered she became a volunteer at Mothers for Mothers, managing the social media and working on the helpline. As a result of her volunteer work Chloe decided to return to further education, and studied at the University of South Wales qualifying as an Art Psychotherapist.
Chloe approached Maria and asked if we could develop an Art Psychotherapy Service at Mothers for Mothers. Maria was very enthusiastic about this and worked with Chloe,who returned to Mothers for Mothers to volunteer for a trial pilot project. They worked closely with the University of South Wales. As a result of the impact of the pilot Mothers for Mothers obtained funding and created the service as it is run today with Chloe as the Co-ordinator and Lead Therapist.
Abby Akinyemi Peer Support Worker
Abby is a woman of lived experience who came to Mothers for Mothers to complete our volunteer training programme and worked providing support to women on the helpline and support call service. Abby then decided to return to further education and completed her degree in Counselling. Abby completed her Counselling placement at Mothers for Mothers. At the end of her placement Abby became a peer support worker and has worked with some of our most vulnerable clients who face a number of social complexities in addition to their mental health problems.
Abby was so inspired by her work at Mothers for Mothers she took our training programme back to her home country of Nigeria in 2019. Abby delivered our training to health care providers and held workshops where she spoke to families raising awareness of maternal mental health and doing much needed work to address the stigma that women face.
The team members shared photographs, creative pieces and hope boxes with HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
HRH The Duke of Gloucester then met volunteers, mothers, children and babies in the playroom and spoke to them about how Mothers for Mothers has helped them.
In the Courtyard HRH The Duke of Gloucester met the trustees. He then presented the volunteers with their special recognition awards for their Covid-19 response work.
Finally, HRH The Duke of Gloucester presented Mothers for Mothers CEO, Maria Viner, with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.