www.parents1st.org.ukThe benefits of quality peer support to mothers, fathers, babies and communities are profound and for this reason, Parents 1st UK has created a brand-new website to enable more effective perinatal volunteering and peer support programmes to flourish.

Anyone and everyone can find out more about developing a perinatal volunteer peer support initiative and the benefits it provides, access guidance and download FREE tools to get a new initiative up and running or develop an existing one. Visit www.parents1st.org.uk to find out more!

Volunteer peer support initiatives are making real improvements to personalised care, leading to achieving healthier pregnancies, less complicated births and happier babies. Sadly however, it is still the norm that the well-evidenced impact of peer support remains largely unrecognised and many initiatives struggle to survive.

Celia Suppiah (CEO of Parents 1st) explains:

As a public health nurse and previously a midwife, the public service ethos that was at the heart of my experience when working for the NHS, has remained despite resigning from the NHS in 2008 to set up Parents 1st social enterprise.

After spending the past 30 years developing early prevention ‘Community Parent’ volunteer programmes within and outside the NHS, including Parents 1st Essex and two affiliate programmes in Tower Hamlets and Derby, the need to generate a profit in order to survive and to protect intellectual property rights has always felt at odds with a need to share knowledge, skills and experience for the benefit of others.

Drawing on all the experience we have gained from Parents 1st Essex and affiliated programmes, this new open source website shares the Community Parent perinatal volunteer model and everything we have learnt about making it work in practice over several decades.

We are confident that it will lead to more parents getting the support and encouragement they deserve during this critical time in their lives.