Nottinghamshire County Council wins Gold third year running for its baby services
By Tom Surgay
2nd Jul 2023 | Local News
Nottinghamshire County Council's Children's Centre Service has received the acclaimed UNICEF Baby Friendly Gold Award for the third year running, as part of UNICEF'S Baby Friendly Initiative.
The scheme ensures public services give new families the best possible support, including with infant feeding and developing nurturing relationships.
Nottinghamshire continues to be one of only a handful of areas within the UK where both Children's Centre Service and Healthy Families teams are accredited to this level.
The Children's Centre Service supports those who are expecting a baby, and new parents, in Nottinghamshire through virtual and in-person groups that offer help with everyday parenting challenges; including BABES, a weekly antenatal group to support and maintain effective breastfeeding.
The groups are run by trained peer support volunteers from across Nottinghamshire, with experience in breastfeeding and weaning, who work with staff from the service.
Anne Woods, Deputy Programme Director for UNICEF, commended the Council's services on its quality and the positive outcomes being achieved, including "supporting 579 families with infant feeding concerns".
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "To receive this award by UNICEF for the third-year running is very special. It is a real honour for the hard work of staff and volunteers to be recognised.
"Achieving Gold status for the third year in a row is down to the hard work and commitment to making sure that children in Nottinghamshire have the best possible start in life.
"A huge part of this success are the local mums and all who volunteer to support their peers. Their dedication to supporting and helping other mums is commendable and deserves to be recognised.
"This award is testament that Nottinghamshire's parents can access top quality support with infant feeding and helping them to build positive parent-infant relationships.
"The Council is always looking for more people to join its team of volunteers. If you know someone who would be a great fit, please encourage them to join."
Louise, a mother to four-week-old baby Percy, attended the antenatal BABES group in Gedling. Speaking about her experience with the group, she said: "Attending the antenatal BABES group has been invaluable to my breastfeeding journey so far. All the information has been so useful in preparing for giving birth. It was practical and realistic about what it's really going to be like."
Hatty, another mum who has attended the BABES group in Gedling, said: "Accessing BABES has made all the difference to me. I would not have been able to continue breastfeeding without that weekly support."