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International praise for council’s baby services

01 June 2022

A United Nations’ agency has praised Nottinghamshire County Council’s help for new parents and their babies.

It follows the council’s children’s centre service receiving the Gold Award as part of UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative.

In assessing the children’s centre service for the award, Anne Woods, UNICEF’s Deputy Programme Director, praised the services on offer and the quality of evidence provided.

The UNICEF scheme provides UK local authorities and healthcare providers with a road map to ensure public services give new families the best possible support, including with infant feeding and developing loving relationships.

The children’s centre service supports expectant and new parents in Nottinghamshire through virtual and in-person groups that offer emotional and practical help on different parental topics.

The groups are run by children’s centre volunteers from across Nottinghamshire with experience and training in breastfeeding and weaning, working with staff from the service.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I’m delighted for our staff and volunteers at our children’s centre service who can proudly say they have received this prestigious accreditation.

“This award by UNICEF makes it clear that expectant and new parents will get first-class support in Nottinghamshire when developing a loving relationship with their baby and deciding how to feed their child.

“We are one of only two areas, where both the council’s children’s centre service and the healthcare trust’s community healthy families service have received the gold standard, making this award even more special.

“Our success is very much down to our excellent support groups covering a wide range of support areas, including ante-natal help and infant weaning advice.

“These support groups are dependent on our tireless children’s centre service volunteers. We have just under 40 volunteers and are always looking for more caring people to join the team.”

Amy Howton, 32, attends Butler's Hill & Broomhill Children’s Centre in Hucknall with her baby Dora.

Praising the work of the children’s centre service and its support groups, Amy said: “The group is really good - it’s been a life saver for the first few weeks having Theo. Hearing other mums go through the same thing just seems normalise breastfeeding and the complications you can get.

“The Babes session helps me have a routine even though it is virtual. It helps me plan my day. It’s been a rewarding group, very good, for the help it can give to mums.

“It’s also been beneficial for me to meet other mums and the support - this has helped me continue breastfeeding.”

If you are interested in volunteering for the county council’s children’s centre service please visit Volunteering | Nottinghamshire County Council

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