Acclaimed Community initiative for Mums with new babies is One Year old

Supported by Torbay’s Community Builder network, Mummy and Me recently celebrated its first anniversary. Its founder is St Matthias’ Children’s Worker, Lena Fearnley, who was inspired by a vision for a free, professional service to Mums with babies under 12 months old across Torbay, offering a varied programme of post-natal education combined with a fun, friendly and relaxing environment.

Following the Covid pandemic, Lena noticed that NHS support for new mums in Torbay was no longer readily available. Together with her friend, Val Burch, and a team of contacts with NHS qualifications and post-natal practitioners, Lena began rolling out Mummy and Me in Autumn 2021 at various locations which currently include Wellswood, Barton and Paignton, with other venues on the way.

The Torbay Community Development Trust has assisted Mummy and Me with the identification of areas of need and the promotion of this very popular and respected new initiative in the wider Torbay community.

The weekly sessions include presentations by various practitioners qualified to give education to mothers with babies under 12 months. Activities include music and movement with Kate Hancox, who is a perinatal educator for Torbay, craft work, baby weigh-ins, swap shops, first aid and weaning. The personal refreshment service is greatly appreciated too! During the past year, several mums have been inspired by the church surroundings to arrange Christenings for their babies.

Mummy and Me have received ringing endorsements from the TCDT, host venues and service users:

“Mummy and Me provides such a welcoming environment for parents and babies up to 12 months. The professional, post-natal education is so appreciated and the friendly group atmosphere is just inspiring.” HELEN KELLY, TCDT COMMUNITY BUILDER

“There’s a wonderful sense of community at Mummy and Me. Within the group, there’s a warm, loving feeling of acceptance and enjoyment” ALICIA, Accountant

“It’s been so good to offer support and friendship to the new mums in our area. Having a new baby can be such a demanding time and it’s so important to have others to talk to who are in the same position. We don’t want new mums feeling isolated at home. It’s a lovely friendly group every Tuesday and its popularity has just grown and grown.” REV CHRIS FRY, Barton Baptist Church

“I’ve found Mummy and Me so helpful with my mental health, especially as I’m home alone with my new baby. It’s the most accepting group I’ve come across. I’m not sure whether it’s better for me or my baby!” SHONA, Bar Worker

“It’s a great way to meet up with others sharing the same experience and for our babies to spend time playing and socialising with other children from so early on, which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. We especially like the tea and cakes here!” JOE, Software Engineer

“St Matthias is a lovely venue to meet and make friends with other new mums and Mummy and Me offers plenty of activities for our babies.” SARAH, Tax Acct.

“This is an amazing group – always something different every week. It’s a good place for mums and babies to make new friends. I’m really grateful for this new initiative.” ELIZABETH, Lawyer

Groups meet in term time only. Some mums and babies come to every venue every week!

Current sites open:

TUESDAYS 9:30am – 11:30 Barton Baptist Church
THURSDAYS 9:30am -11:30 St. Boniface Church, Paignton
FRIDAYS 10am – 11:30 S.t Matthias, Wellswood

If you want more details of the programme or are interested in hosting a Mummy and Me in your community, just contact the founder, Lena Fearnley, by e-mail at [email protected].