History of Happy Mums
Hello, and thanks for visiting our website! I'm Katherine, Founder and Executive Director at Happy Mums.
I set up Happy Mums in 2015 after my own experiences of pre and postnatal depression and anxiety.
A big part of my recovery was being able to to talk with other women who were going through something similar, so I wanted to provide an opportunity for other women to benefit from peer support too.
Weekly support groups are at the heart of what we do. They are facilitated by women with lived experience who receive training and ongoing support to make sure we provide a safe, supportive and inclusive space.
Between 2015 and 2017 we offered a variety of support groups, antenatal classes (through a partnership with The Daisy Foundation) room hire and awareness raising activity.
In 2017 we were successful in securing our first large grant from Comic Relief and launched the #MumsTogether project, which focussed on developing the support group provision and reaching more women across Carlisle, and included funding to run an onsite creche at our headquarters near Scotby, Carlisle.
In 2018 we were delighted to receive the award for Best New Social Enterprise from the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership.
In 2019 we received additional funding from the Mind Side by Side Project which aimed to improve access to peer support for women especially those from disadvantaged, marginalised or minoritsed backgrounds. Using this funding we were able to explore social, educational and activity-based peer support through a programme of craft, exercise and hobby sessions.
Our current #HappyMumbria project (2020-22) is funded by Comic Relief and aims to reach more women across north, west and east Cumbria by expanding the number of support groups through a network of trained volunteers. We also receive funding from the NENC Suicide Prevention Network, Rosa, and The National Lottery Community Fund. We have streamlined what we offer so although we no longer have a programme of activities or a creche, it does mean that we are able to expand beyond Carlisle.
A further, exciting development is our new #Embrace Parent Mental Health awareness-raising training programme for Early Years settings. We are grateful to have received funding from The Francis C Scott Charitable Trust and aim to start delivering the training in summer 2021. This project takes us closer to our goal of being self-sustaining and no longer reliant on grant funding by 2025.
We have three paid members of staff - me, Katie and Sarah - but we couldn't do what we do without our volunteers, including our Board of Directors.
A community where maternal mental health is embraced, with reduced impact on woman, baby and family, and where Happy Mums is a renowned leader in the provision of peer-led support.
Our mission is to come together to provide hope and acceptance through shared experience of maternal mental health. We also aim to contribute to our community's well-being and local economy through social enterprise.
We have lived experience, either directly or through friends and family. As equals we lead, teach and learn from that experience;
We make it safe for women to share their experiences of maternal mental health in group settings by prioritising our team's wellbeing;
We are positively inclusive of women from communities which are often marginalised, including those who experience racism. We are open to challenge about discrimination in any form and are responsive to the specific needs of individuals;
We help women to accept and own their maternal mental health experiences. We cultivate an atmosphere where individuals are valued and given autonomy to realise their goals;
We maintain our independence from statutory bodies, and aspire to reduce our reliance on grant funding. We are proactive about our emotional and financial sustainability.
Our Board of Directors are responsible for setting the vision and strategy of the organisation and overseeing how services are delivered. Our Board is chaired by Lizzie Anderson.
As a Community Interest Company – unlike a charity – our Directors can also be involved in the day-to-day running of the Foundation. With the exception of the Executive Director, Katherine, who also has a paid role as Programme Manager, our Directors are volunteers and do not receive any payment for this work.
We were officially registered in England and Wales as a Community Interest Company (CIC) on 14th January 2015. Our registered address is:
The Coach House Centre
Our Company Number is: 9389461