Shoreditch Trust | Working to improve health, wellbeing, social networks and opportunities in Hackney Menu
Health & Wellbeing

Mentoring

Pregnancy and early parenthood are chapters of big change in a woman’s life. At Bump Buddies, we know how important it is to have caring people around you to help you find your way through this time.


We run a one-to-one mentoring scheme that supports women throughout pregnancy and early parenthood, pairing mothers-to-be with a ‘buddy’. This mentor can provide a listening ear, information and guidance in taking control of the experience, and making the best choices for mum and baby.

Our mentoring service may be right for you if you are a pregnant woman; a woman wanting to volunteer with Bump Buddies; or a professional looking for extra support to offer your client.

You can find out more about any of these areas below, and read some of our Mentor's stories.

Mothers-to-be
If you want to find out more, or become a mentee, download and fill out our referral form, and then send it to: lorna@shoreditchtrust.org.uk.
[To edit a PDF, download the document to your computer. Once opened, click 'Fill & Sign' (usually in the top right corner) and use the 'Add Text' tool.]

Mentors-to-be
To find out more about what being a mentor entails, download our Mentor Role Description. If you would like to come along to the next Mentor Assessment day to find out more about becoming a mentor, you can apply here.

Professionals
To refer a client, download our Bump Buddies Referral Form, and return the completed form to: lorna@shoreditchtrust.org.uk.

"The best parts of Bump Buddies were the regular meetings. The mentor was like a bridge to the hospital, she helped me prepare for labour by writing a birth plan and attending appointments. I had help filling forms and visiting the housing office. I feel more confident now. I'd like to be a Bump Buddy to help another mum to be." Mentee, 2014

Finding out you are going to have a baby can be very exciting, but if you don’t have anyone to advise you on what to expect, how to prepare, and where to go for help, it can be an isolating time.

Our Bump Buddies team can offer the support you need if you are pregnant and wondering how to prepare for your child.

You can become part of this service if:
• You don’t know when and where to get care in pregnancy
• You are feeling isolated and don’t have anyone to talk to
• You are struggling with the demands of family and work
• You would like information on benefits and maternity rights
• You would like to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy
• You would like to be more connected with your community
• You would like to know how to meet your baby's needs
• You would like to plan for your labour.

Our friendly team will contact you to discuss your needs, and decide where best to go from there.

If the mentoring service is right for you, the team will pair you with one of our trained mentors, who will meet with you once a week and be on the end of a phone to give you the support you need.

You will be able to ask them about anything you are unsure of, or that makes you nervous. Your mentor will offer support and information, helping you prepare for areas of pregnancy, birth and parenthood you are less confident about.

If you want to find out more, or become a mentee, download and fill out our referral form, and then send it to: lorna@shoreditchtrust.org.uk.
[To edit a PDF, download the document to your computer. Once opened, click 'Fill & Sign' (usually in the top right corner) and use the 'Add Text' tool.]

“The training was brilliant, I loved it. It even helped with things going on in my own life. It taught me things I had never considered when I had my own children. I wanted to do it again and again and again.” Mentor, 2014

“Mentoring has given me an insight into things that I hadn’t experienced in my life. It has increased my compassion for other people and given me a greater appreciation of the positive things that I have in my life. I find it so rewarding; the fact that I have can an influence on someone else’s life makes me feel humbled.” Mentor, 2015

We recruit volunteers to become mentors twice a year, and fully train them to prepare for mentoring. This includes sessions on:
• The Mentoring Cycle
• Ground Rules in Mentoring
• Interpersonal Behaviour and Communication Skills
• Safeguarding - a Shared Responsibility
• Bonding and Attachment
• Key Health Messages

Mentors are then paired with a mother-to-be, who is in need of extra support. The buddies meet at least once a week during the mentoring relationship.

As a mentor, you will be contacted by our team each week to check in, find out how the meets are going, and make sure there are no concerns about the health or wellbeing of the mother-to-be or her child(ren). You will have the team to guide and support you, ensuring that you feel comfortable and equipped to deal with any situation you are presented with.

Our mentors play an important role in supporting the mother-to-be, being an ear to listen, a source of information on the choices available through pregnancy and early motherhood, and a reassuring presence to boost confidence in making her preferences known and respected.

Become a mentor
You can find out more about what this role entails in our Mentor Role Description. If you would like to come along to the next Mentor Assessment day to find out more about becoming a mentor, you can apply here.

“I have found Bump Buddies to be an invaluable service for my clients. I work with some of the most deprived women and families in the country, to have a mentoring programme so easily available really impacts on the care these women receive....If Bump Buddies are involved with one of my women then it gives me more time to focus on maternity care and preparation for birth/caring for a newborn as I know their other social issues are being addressed by their mentor as well as me." Public Health Midwife, 2015

Bump Buddies Mentoring provides support to mothers-to-be experiencing social isolation and vulnerabilities; a lack of information on pregnancy and early parenting; and the choices available to women during this time. We work in tandem with maternity services, public health and social services to complete the circle of care and support available to women with additional support needs.

Additional support needs includes, but is not limited, to women who:
• Lack support networks / are socially isolated
• Are homeless or at risk of homelessness
• Are known to social care including for safeguarding concerns
• Have experienced domestic violence
• Have mild to moderate mental health problems
• Have experienced difficulties with pregnancy/birth/post birth
• Are young (under 21)
• Are HIV positive
• Have English as a second language
• Have uncertain immigration status
• Have been in UK less than 10 years

The mentoring relationship facilitates the improvement of social relationships, through increasing the confidence and self-esteem of the mother-to-be, and encouraging networking within the community. This leads to an increase in ability to build and sustain positive relationships, which extends beyond the duration of the mentoring relationship.

This scheme also aims to increase resilience, reinforcing the strength within the women we work with to help them bounce back from adverse circumstances and experiences. We offer them access to the knowledge and support they need to make choices that will impact their health and wellbeing, and that of their children.

The Bump Buddies programme ultimately gives participants more choice, more voice and more control, enabling them to seek information about, and confidently access local provisions.

If you refer a client to us, their referral will be individually assessed to establish whether the mentoring service is appropriate for them. All clients will receive an email outlining free local and online pregnancy/parent related services, regardless of whether the mentoring service is offered to them. The client will be contacted by phone after the assessment to confirm whether they will be offered a mentor; if they are, we aim to pair them within a six week period (but may be longer depending on capacity). The client will be contacted by phone to arrange an introductory meeting with their mentor.

To make a referral, download our Bump Buddies Referral Form, and return the completed form to: lorna@shoreditchtrust.org.uk.