Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Winchester Mums' Chaplaincy

It's wonderful to announce the official launch of Winchester Mums' Chaplaincy, a brand new service which aims to support the hard-working mums of Winchester, Hampshire, by providing a free, confidential and impartial listening ear.

When I had my first child last year I realised just how little emotional support there is out there for women beginning the journey into sleepless nights and toddler tantrums! There is lots of information, lots of websites and lots of marketing, but not much real help or authentic community. The NHS health visitors do a great job of monitoring children's health and identifying and supporting mums with post-natal depression, but there's a whole range of difficult emotions that mums can experience without actually having PND.

This is where Winchester Mums' Chaplaincy comes in - its aim being to support mums who are facing parenting challenges, who may want to talk through a decision, or who just need to off-load about the trials of motherhood. Very excitingly, we think we may be the first service of its kind in the UK - but if there are any other Mums' Chaplains out there, do correct me if I'm wrong!

The service is provided by the Winchester City Centre Chaplaincy (www.upperitchen.org.uk/CityCentreChaplaincy.htm) which is supported ecumenically by many of the churches in Winchester. However, the chaplains serve people of all faiths and none. All are trained in listening skills and have been CRB-checked. We are primarily a listening service not a counselling service, but we can signpost mums towards other appropriate agencies who can give more specialist advice and help if needed.

If you want to get in contact or you know any mums who would find this service useful, either leave a message on facebook.com/winchestermums.chaplaincy.1, call or text 07561083382, or email winchestermumschaplain@hotmail.com. Mums can also find us at the community cafe at United Church, Jewry St, SO23 8RZ, 10-12 on Thursday mornings.

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