A popular volunteer-led parent and child support group are looking to raise enough money so that they can continue their vital community work which has been threatened by the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since lockdown, NCT Beckenham and Borders—which is run entirely by volunteers—has helped local parents through a range of activity and support groups. These include Walk and Talk groups at Beckenham Place Park; Happy Mondays playgroup; Bumps and Babies pre-crawlers group and the twice weekly Baby Café Breastfeeding Support service.
However, as a result of COVID-19 social distancing measures, hall capacity has been reduced. This has limited NCT Beckenham and Borders’ income. The pandemic also put a stop to the group’s regular fundraising events, such as nearly new sales, which has only added to the financial strain.
The volunteer-led team are hoping to raise in excess of £1,000, with the money donated used to fund the group’s running costs, including venue hire.
Speaking to News in Beckenham, NCT Beckenham and Borders branch coordinator, Julia Ward, said: “Due to COVID-19 restrictions we have been unable to hold any fundraising events. Consequently, our branch finances have become very depleted. We risk having to stop holding these vital parent support groups if we don’t get our finances back on track.
“As a local mum myself, I moved to Beckenham when my first son was born over four years ago. Attending the parent support groups were a fantastic way to meet other new parents and make friends. The lockdowns and COVID-19 measures in recent years has meant that new parents have had a very different experience.
“Many have been isolated from vital support of family and friends. As soon as the government guidance permitted parent and child support groups to operate, we have.
“Our branch is beginning to grow and we currently have a small team of passionate volunteers. It would be wonderful to build on this and grow our branch. For now, however, we need to get beyond this challenging time and get in a good financial place for our branch activities to continue.”
The various support services offered by NCT Beckenham and Borders have been a huge hit with Beckenham parents. One mother who attends the Bumps and Babies group with her eight-month-old child, said: “It’s nice to know that there are other mums out there going through the same journey as you and you’re not alone. Being able to talk about baby stuff has definitely kept me sane.”
Fellow mum, Heather, added: “Since finding out and being recommended to attend an NCT Bumps and Babies group I pushed myself to get out of the house and attend. Not only is it great for my son to see and be around other babies, it has really helped me to grow as a mum. Opening up and talking to other mums I felt such great support. I really look forward to each week.”
To donate and help support the volunteer-led group, click HERE.
NCT Beckenham and Borders are also currently on the lookout for additional volunteers, whatever their skillset. Those interested in joining the friendly volunteer team or who would like to know more can email firstname.lastname@example.org.