We love our Village volunteers

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The Village is a social enterprise and we couldn’t do what we do without the energy and generosity of all the people who have so freely given their time, advice and encouragement.

So we are taking the opportunity in this post to say a massive thank you to all of them and to introduce you to the volunteers you may have met, who help us deliver our services.

Thank you, we are so grateful!

Lisa

We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of Lisa joining The Village. As a lactation consultant, she has helped over 200 of our Villagers (so far) feed their babies. She gives so much time and care to each individual, really gets to know their stories and makes sure they leave with more knowledge and confidence, however they are feeding. Thank you Lisa.

“What drew me to The Village? Parents supporting parents. Recognising that parenting is challenging and normalising the reality of parenting in our society. A deep care that access to support services and high quality classes shouldn’t be a postcode lottery or denied due to inability to pay.”

Emma P

Emma is training to be a breastfeeding peer supporter and volunteers her time at our feeding sessions with Lisa. She helps welcome our Villagers, makes sure they are comfy and have a hot drink and is able to use her own experience as a parent to listen, empathise and reassure people on their own feeding journeys. Thank you Emma.

“When I first stepped foot under the dome that forms the centre point of The Village, I felt a warm fuzzy feeling. Like minded people supporting parents, carers and children through an amazing line-up of classes, courses and support groups. Feeding in one room, lego in another… A drum circle, yoga, a choir, sling support and more. I felt energised to be a part of something so brilliant.

In the few months that I’ve been volunteering at The Village I’ve seen it grow and evolve, with more and more parents and carers arriving each week. It’s an exciting time to be a part of a much needed, vibrant community hub. I can’t wait to see it evolve further over the coming year. ”

Sarah C

Sarah offers advice and support for our Villagers to choose and use slings and carriers with their children. She explains the safety guidelines and the tips and tricks to getting a good fit so clearly and with a good dose of humour and it’s lovely to see so many people walking out of The Village with their babies happily snuggled on their chest. Thank you Sarah.

“As a babywearing consultant, my passion is to help parents carry their babies/children safely and comfortably. Volunteering with The Village one day a week enables me to spread the word about babywearing to people in an accessible way. I love the fact that people come in, never even having tried their sling/carrier and leave feeing safe, secure, confident and with their hands free.”

Helen

Helen leads our Walk & Talk through Ladywell Fields on a Friday. She has been a Villager since the very early days of the project so we are delighted she has joined us to welcome newer parents into our community. She provides a friendly face and a listening ear as a fellow parent who gets what it’s like in the early days. Thank you Helen.

“I decided to volunteer with the village after joining in with the walks myself and other support groups at the village from when my baby was around four weeks old. I was finding it all quite overwhelming being a new, first-time mum. I felt so welcomed and supported and really just ‘taken in’ by the Village family - honest, friendly people who listen and care.

I feel that I have benefited so much from joining in with the community at The Village London throughout my first year of being a mum. It’s given me more confidence in my ability to be a mum, enabled me to build my own network of local parent friends and also practical help with feeding my baby and choosing a new baby carrier as the newborn one became too small.

When I heard there was an opening to volunteer, I really wanted to be able to hopefully give the experience I had back to other parents and carers out there too.

I feel so lucky to have found the village London and the people who have set up and continue to grow such a great community. I hope The Village will continue to thrive and help many more local parents/carers and families.”

Theresa

Theresa leads our Walk & Talk in Mountsfield Park on Thursdays. She is able to hold space and allow the Villagers on her walks to form bonds with each other. She also generously shares her wealth of knowledge of foraging, wild food and nutrition so the walking Villagers get to learn something too! Thank you Theresa.

“I chose to be a volunteer at the Village because I like sharing my enjoyment of the natural world with others, especially to enable new parents to leave the house and get outside for an hour of unstructured activity, in good company.

The common theme is that despite however challenging it may be in the morning getting a baby ready to leave the house, the rewards always outweigh any initial challenges.

I’ve lived in the area over 40 years and I know the park quite well. Occasionly we stop for chat in or around the community garden where herbs and vegetables grow year round. We share our top tips for health and well-being. Did you know that lettuce has a calming effect?! Try putting lettuce in a juicer and feeding a little to your baby or toddler.”

Amy

Amy is a front-of-house volunteer at the library on a Wednesday. She helps welcome people, sort out cups and drinks and explain who we are and what we do. Often checking people in, she is a friendly, calm presence, letting people know they have arrived at their Village. Thank you Amy.

“I was looking for some work experience in psychology when I stumbled across The Village and felt as though I could learn a lot from meeting new people and seeing how different support groups benefit different people and babies development. I like the way everyone who comes into The Village is a part of a special community and there’s new people every week so there’s always someone to catch up with and talk to!

I think it’s so amusing the way the babies all bond with each other on the mats too and they seem to have a great time mumbling to each other. I especially like seeing the way people progress and grow within themselves, even within one day. You can always see parents and carers leave so much more relaxed than when they arrived and over a period of time.

I hope The Village continues to grow and the Village parents and children have found friends for life!”

Sophie

Sophie recently joined us as a front-of-house volunteer at the library on a Wednesday. She welcomes people, holds babies and is able to use her experience as a parent to empathise and offer peer-to-peer support. Thank you Sophie.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the Village’s mission and just wanted to come and be part of it. I’m a single mum with three kids and have benefited from wise words and support when I needed them most. By volunteering at The Village I hope to be able to offer something back.”

If you would like to offer your services as a volunteer, thank you so much! Just drop us an email and introduce yourself. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
If you like the sound of feeding support, sling advice or any of our other services, have a look at our weekly schedule and book your place.

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