Auntie Pam’s here to help – local peer-support service shortlisted for national award
Auntie Pam’s, the Kirklees based service that supports local mums to be, mums and their babies has been shortlisted for the national Local Government Chronicle Community Involvement award.
The award recognises local government initiatives that involve the local community in ways they may not have done in the past. But being shortlisted is only the start, the team behind Auntie Pam’s will go to London on the 26 January to deliver a presentation to a judging panel and explain why they think they should win. The final decision will be announced at an award ceremony in London on 16 March 2016.
Auntie Pam’s opened in 2010 as a support and signposting service, with a drop-in centre in Dewsbury. In November 2014, it expanded its reach from north of the region into rest of the local area with a centre in Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market.
Auntie Pam’s offers support about a range of issues to local mums or mums to be including; pregnancy, baby development, health, benefits and entitlements, housing, relationship issues, healthy eating, and also offers you a clothing swap shop and equipment store.
They also distribute Healthy Start vitamins and provide you access to stop smoking advisors, baby feeding support and sexual health guidance. Dads to be are also welcome to drop in with their partners to our centres.
Auntie Pam understands
You can sit down to chat with trained peer supporters who are local mums like yourself. Our volunteers understand the challenges mums might be facing and offer a listening ear.
Providing personalised one to one information and support helps you with decision making, answers your questions and can really make a difference to your health and wellbeing.
Peer supporters receive specialist training and are supported by public health professionals to ensure they have skills, knowledge and resources to provide you with the best possible service.
Auntie Pam’s is committed to offering a gold standard service for you and for volunteers, who are encouraged to consider options for undertaking adult learning in a friendly and supportive environment.
Support from trained volunteers
Auntie Pam’s has trained over 250 peer support volunteers so far. Many have moved on from volunteering with the service to invest more time in family life and community networks, or have gone into midwifery degrees, returned to full or part time employment or further education.
Our volunteers work closely alongside staff and professionals from a number of public and third sector organisations to ensure that expecting and new parents can confidently access services and information to help them make informed choices that best suit their needs.
To feed local intelligence from service users into main providers and to influence and shape our local maternity services, Auntie Pam’s helps and chairs the North Kirklees Maternity Services Liaison Committee.
At the committee representatives from ourselves, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust services, Children’s Centres, National Childbirth Trust, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Locala primary care providers and both Huddersfield and Leeds Universities gather to discuss and assess local support and services.
Auntie Pam’s is also a member of the Calderdale and Huddersfield Maternity Services Liaison Committee.
Auntie Pam’s is an award winning peer support model, is now recognised as a successful and cost effective method of delivery and is being adopted by a number of other services across our region, for example; care leavers, sports and physical activity and young people’s housing support.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, our cabinet member for Early Intervention said:
To be shortlisted to the final nine is an amazing achievement and testament to the continued dedication of the team behind the service. As times change for councils we need to work more closely with the local community, so that we can continue to deliver a ‘gold’ standard service – Auntie Pam’s is an excellent example of how this is already working to great effect. The service couldn’t run without the commitment of the peer supporters so they deserve recognition for this achievement just as much as public health team. I wish them all luck with the next stage in the process.”
LGC editor Nick Golding said:
To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows that a council’s work in this particular area is something that can inspire the rest of local government.The quality of the entries goes to show that councils are striving to innovate to improve services at a time they must cut costs.”
Want to get involved?
For more information and to see how you can become a volunteer visit Auntie Pam’s website