A service that supports mums-to-be and new mums been shortlisted for a national award.
The award recognises local government initiatives that involve the local community in ways they may not have done in the past.
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 with a centre in Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market.
The service offers support about a range of issues including pregnancy, baby development, health, benefits and entitlements, housing, relationship issues and healthy eating. It also offers a clothing swap shop and equipment store.
The team distribute Healthy Start vitamins and provide 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 the centres. Visitors can sit down to chat with trained peer supporters who are local mums like themselves. The volunteers understand the challenges mums might be facing and offer a listening ear.
Providing personalised one to one information and support helps with decision making, answers questions and can really make a difference to health and wellbeing.
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.
The service is involved with the North Kirklees Maternity Services Liaison Committee and is a member of the Calderdale and Huddersfield Maternity Services Liaison Committee.
Clr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Early Intervention, said: “To be shortlisted 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.”
The team are now looking forward to going to London on January 26 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 in March.