I have been working with this group of mums since May 2022. It originally started as a 4-week baby massage class provided by the charity I volunteer for. After the baby massage class, the mums were keen to stay and have a chat with each other so I facilitated that. The babies were all around the same age so they were able to share experiences and tips with each other. It was expressed by the majority of the mums that they would like to organise meet ups over the summer along with other children they may have, so that is where Easy Peasy pods and I came in.
Starting a pod was so beneficial for this group of mums as it meant I was able to use the funding to organise trips and days out for the group. In addition to this, I was able to provide light lunches, snacks and drinks. We all pre-set the dates together to make sure they suited as many of the group as possible. As you can see we managed to hold three meet ups over the Summer months and had a good turnout of mums and children at all of them.
In doing this over Summer, the impact it has had on this group of mums is so positive in many ways. It provided a major social aspect to their lives as the majority of them could be classed as socially isolated. It has created new friendships as they communicate and meet up outside our designated times. It also provides a support system for them as they provide emotional support and practical advice to one another based on their own experiences.
As the volunteer leader coordinating the group, I have been encouraging the use of the Easy Peasy app. I have found the app very beneficial as it has so many hints and tips on parenting and many different ideas on creative, sensory play. I am currently trying to get the whole group to download the app and share any ideas/hints/tips they may have to the wider community.
In going forward, as their volunteer, I want to expand this group to include more families from our local area. Ideally I would like to provide a weekly/bi-weekly meet up going forward to continue with the positive impact this pod has already had.
On Wednesday 17th August, I booked a local sensory and play room for us all to meet up in. We stayed for two hours, had scones and coffees and the kids had a great time with all the different activities available. We had a big catch up and discussed how the weaning was going for some of the babies. We also discussed how older siblings/parents going back to school in September would effect routine.
We had another great morning together and decided to leave another meet up until the rush of September settled down again. It was also discussed on adding new members to the group how this would impact everyone.
It was National Play day last Wednesday so we used this to our advantage and we met up at a local park. I brought some toys and sensory items with me so all the kids had something they could play with. I also got some snacks for the kids which they enjoyed. After playing for an hour we went and had coffee and ice cream and had a chat. We discussed weaning, I brought some recipe books with me for them to try and we had a great morning all round :)
Our next meet up is on Wednesday 17th August and I can't wait to see you all again :)
This is a group of new mums who live in the Carrickfergus area that I am currently working with to create a social group with. Yesterday we had a tour of a local tourist attraction (Carrickfergus Castle) and had a light lunch afterwards.
I want to use the seed funding to organise more meet ups for this group of mums. There are plenty of soft play areas, parks and family-friendly areas within our local community and want to utilise these to get this group together so some of the seed funding would cover costs to hire these venues.
Another area I would spend the seed funding on would be to purchase outdoor toys. As some of these mums have older children as well as new born babies, having some toys for the older kids to play with at meet ups would be beneficial. I also want to purchase some picnic blankets for our outdoor meet ups.
Lastly, I want to be able to provide a "light lunch" and snacks for the parents and children at every meet up. I find this provides a great time for parents to sit and relax and catch up and chat with each other and myself.
Hi Kayleigh thanks so much for setting the group up and know you have lots of lovely meet ups planned for summer for the group.
Ladies can I ask you not to share the group or add anyone to it - this is a private Home Start group just for those who attended the baby massage sessions.
As a charity we can get a small amount of funding, through this pod to cover the costs of the summer activites. The funding is provided to support groups like ours to bring parents together - so ideal for our summer meet ups.