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Fabulous work from Volunteers at Hexham NCT!

Posted on 24 February 2012
Fabulous work from Volunteers at Hexham NCT!

I'm Maddy and I'm Website Co-ordinator for NCT Hexham and Tynedale. Sarah's kindly given me this space on her blog to let you know a little about who NCT are and what we do to support parents in our local community. I also thought I'd tell you a bit about my own personal relationship with NCT: it's had a huge positive impact on me and I'd love it to do the same for you!

NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is the UK's largest charity for parents, campaigning for them on the issues they care about. The charity focuses on supporting parents, giving them accurate, impartial information so that they can decide what’s best for their family. Through branches across the UK (of which there are 317 at the last count!) they are also introduced to a network of other local parents to gain practical and emotional support. The bottom line? NCT is here to support parents just like you!

For me personally, it's the bit about meeting other parents that has had the biggest, most positive effect. This benefit of NCT has affected my whole life starting before my birth when my mum attended NCT antenatal classes while pregnant with me! Not only did she make great friends through that course, but one of my best friends to this day was another unborn baby in that group! I also met another best friend of mine as toddlers at an NCT social event so, for me, the NCT really has meant friendship for life.

So, as you might imagine, when I found myself pregnant with my first son I immediately signed up to a local NCT antenatal class. Our teacher was friendly, informative and supportive and definitely helped me prepare for the birth. More important to me though was meeting the other pregnant mothers; we clicked immediately and they are now some of my closest friends. Together we battled through not-exactly-ideal births, feeding troubles and toddler tantrums and, of course, also shared all the first smiles/steps/words with pride. We've all gone on to have baby number 2 (and even 3!) and have shared the ups and downs through it all. In fact I sometimes think I couldn't have done it without them!

I started to volunteer on my local NCT committee because I wanted to give something back to a charity that had had such a positive impact on my life. I'm happy to be part of a very active branch and a lovely team of volunteers. We currently have a busy calendar of events for parents around the area and we'd love you to come along! Currently running we have:

Bumps and Babies – Our weekly, Friday afternoon group for parents (bumps included!) and babies up to two in St Andrews Church Cottage, Corbridge. Toys, drinks, cake and chat are all in plentiful supply and we often have special activities planned too.

Antenatal Classes – with fab, friendly, informed teachers (two of whom are on our committee). There's the choice to do evening sessions or weekend ones and they run throughout the year so you can sign up to a course relevant to your due date. For more details please contact [email protected]

Refresher classes – antenatal classes for second (and subsequent) time parents. These focus on questions you might have not just about the birth but also about how another baby will affect your family.

Coffee mornings – These are fortnightly get-togethers for parents, bumps and babies at volunteers houses around the region. They're particularly good if you're venturing out with a newborn and prefer a quieter, less public venue.

Babes in Arms at Wheelbirks Ice Cream Parlour – Meet other parents and babies (up to crawling age) for cakes, chat and – of course – ice cream. Held on the first Thursday of every month.

Nearly New Sales – These are the perfect place to buy second-hand baby gear and sell things you no longer need. We run them quarterly and they're so successful we've just had to move to a bigger venue! The next one is on the afternoon of Saturday February 25th at Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham.

Speedbumps – These are fun, free social events held for pregnant mothers/couples. They're a great way to meet other parents-to-be and find out what services and support are out there for new parents. We have useful talks from local midwifes, demonstrations of useful baby gear (such as slings) and stalls from local businesses (there were free taster massages at our last event!) The next event is Sat 24th March from 11 – 1 in Stocksfield Community Centre.

The Big Musical Nappuccino – A fun, informative, free event we're running during Real Nappy Week. We'll have stalls from local businesses, real nappy demonstrations, sessions from Musical Minis and Tiny Talk, and lots more to keep both you and your little ones entertained! Held on Saturday April 21st at Trinity Church Hall in Hexham.

Monthly Branch Meetings – at which we're always happy to see new faces. It's your opportunity to find out more about what we do, and get involved. All welcome! Next Meeting Wed 15th March, 7.30 at Tynedale Cricket Ground, Hexham.

As you can see, there's masses to get involved with and you're welcome to come to as many events as you like; whatever suits you and your family best.

Although many events are free, we always welcome donations – all money raised goes towards continuing our charity's work. For a £40 subscription you can also become a member of NCT which gives you perks like early entry to our Nearly New Sales (so you can grab all the best bargains!), a quarterly magazine and discounts at the NCT online shop. Your membership also helps NCT to continue to deliver services such as our busy helplines and to support disadvantaged parents through a range of practical outreach projects.

If you're interested in finding \out more about our work, or for more details about any of our events please visit our website There's plenty of information on everything I've talked about along with an Events Diary with an up-to-date record of what's going on, when and where.

Come along and join the fun!

1 comment

Debbie Caygill Commented on 24 Feb 2012

Oooh and a picture of me at my Musical Minis session last year!!

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Sarah Parkin runs Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency, providing support to families with their childcare requirements including wedding day childcare, babysitting and emergency childcare. Area of coverage includes the following regions across the North East of England, Gosforth, Great Park, Jesmond, Heaton, Killingworth, Shiremoor, Longbenton, Holystone, Forest Hall, Morpeth, Cramlington, Ashington, Blyth, Ponteland, Kingston Park, Westerhope, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, Monkseaton, Wallsend, South Shields, Tynedale, Hexham, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Corbridge, Consett, Rowlands Gill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Washington, Sunderland, Durham, Wearside, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland.