Five years ago, we were six young women from six different parts of the world. We’d never met, but we had some big things in common - we were all new mums or expectant mums and we had fled to the UK to seek asylum and protection for our babies.
HAPPY BABY COMMUNITY
Our individual experiences are very difficult to tell, we had all fled from unimaginable horrors and sought safety in the UK. We all had newborns or babies on the way, and were alone in this country. We were desperate to feel safe, to learn and work like other young women, and provide a better life for our little families. Working with the Helen Bamber Foundation and two volunteers, Jill and Lucy, the six of us met for the first time in 2014. The immediate friendships we formed had an enormous impact on the way we felt and we shared our experiences as new mums.
Our community started small. As new mums joined, we started to work with other charities that supported us when we gave birth, making sure we weren’t alone in hospital, providing baby clothes and help in knowing what to do. It eased the worries that come with having a newborn baby, such as the stress of not sleeping and concern over doing things the right way.
We knew that many new mums were unable to join the group in North London so we joined forces with three volunteers, Jo D, Jo W and Sue, who had a group in Thornton Heath, and we worked together to build the community in South London.
Now wherever you are in London you are able to access the Happy Baby Community.
our growing family
Now, The Happy Baby Community includes over 450 mums, 480 babies and children and 65 volunteers. We meet at two centres in North and South London, where we welcome more than 110 pregnant women and new mums every week.
a little peace and quiet
From the mums that have been there from the start, to those who have just arrived, we protect each other through shared knowledge, friendship, and understanding. Whilst our babies play, we get much-needed time to concentrate on our mental and physical well being, making us feel strong, supported and, most importantly, normal.