Wednesday, 24 November 2010

NCT – A No. 1 Source of Support and Networking for Parents

The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is the largest and best known childbirth and parenting charity in Europe. Run by parents, for parents, the NCT is rooted in local communities across the UK, through its network of 330 local branches – run by volunteers.

10 good reasons for being a member of your local branch – mine is Chorley and Leyland!
1.      Have fun whilst supporting a worthy cause.
2.      The NCT is a unique service, which gives you the opportunity to network with other parents.
3.      Your membership will ensure that the NCT is here to support your children, when they become parents.
4.      Your membership will help NCT campaign – which will bring about changes for ALL parents.
5.      NCT members help raise the profile of parenting.
6.      Your membership allows NCT to campaign on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves.
7.      Membership gives you the opportunity to give something back to the NCT.
8.      Being a member of the NCT enables us to continue training new volunteers, teachers, breastfeeding counsellors, postnatal support workers and branch volunteers.
9.      Your membership allows the NCT to act as a voice for ALL parents in the UK.
10.  Be a member to say thank you to all the volunteers who have supported you through pregnancy and the experience of becoming a parent.
Of course when you do become a member, you realise that these are the reasons you joined (and  they are very good reasons) but  that in addition, what is available to you and your family on a local level is almost impossible to access in any other way and has endless benefits to you and your family.
As a member, at branch level you become part of a network of support and friendship, regular activities and events, professional workers and advice -  allowing you to enjoy parenting , share your experiences and for your children to grow and play with friends.
As a volunteer at branch level, you become part of the team that keeps the branch running, enjoying roles that use your existing skills and help to develop new ones, receiving support from all other Team Members who in their branch roles and ‘supporting teams’ help to facilitate the activities and events that are available. All volunteers receive training where it is needed at branch & regional levels.  Every event and activity and all funds raised at branch level is as result of the dedication and commitment made by volunteers.  All of the funds raised contribute to the activities and support of the NCT on a National scale and so volunteers are priceless and very much appreciated locally and by the NCT as a whole.


At Chorley and Leyland Branch, we have a Branch Team that includes:
·         Branch Co-ordinator (previously known as Chair)
·         Treasurer
·         Membership Co-ordinator
·         Parent Support Co-ordinator (includes organising Stay & Play Sessions – previously known as Coffee Mornings)
·         Mums to Be Evenings co-ordinator
·         Bumps & Babes sessions co-ordinator
·         Branch Secretary
·         Newsletter Editor (of our Award Winning Newsletter)
·         Publicity Officer
·         Branch Web Master
·         Nearly New Sales Co-ordinator
·         Nearly New Sales Team (Sellers; Advertisers; Volunteers)
·         Maternity Services Liaison
·         Agent for Bras
·         Agent for Breast Pumps
·         Agent for Valley Cushions
These roles are all voluntary positions and available to all members should they wish to contribute their time to the NCT. There is no fixed timescale to how long the role is to be held as we appreciate circumstances change and that family comes first.  Some roles are shared and ALL roles are supported by the Branch Team (previously known as Branch Committee).
Some of the regular activities that we hold at Chorley & Leyland are:
·         Mums to Be Evenings – for parents to be to get to know each other.
·         Bumps & Babes sessions – held fortnightly for parents to be and babes not yet mobile.
·         Stay & Play sessions – (for everyone) held weekly for parents to meet up, share experiences, receive support and especially to have a cuppa and nice biscuits, while the children play in a toddler/baby safe environment and have fun making new friends.
These sessions are held at other parent’s houses, so are informal and cosy. Sometimes we meet up in play centres where the children run around and have fun and parents still get their cuppa and nice biscuits.
Some of the events in our social calendar are:
·         Quiz Night and Hotpot Supper
·         Easter Fun Day
·         Nearly New Sale (May)
·         Cheeky Monkeys Party (June)
·         Halloween Fun Day
·         Nearly New Sale (November)
·         Members Christmas Party/Meal
·         Children’s Christmas Party

In addition we have:
·         Organised Walks
·         Girls Nights Out
·         Parents Nights Out
·         Pamper Evenings
Since we have the opportunity to spend time with each other as families and as groups, we inevitably and naturally build friendships that are solid, supportive, based on trust and bring us back together even when we have been busy for a while with family commitments. Being a part of a local branch allows for networking that is flexible and there for you when you and your family need it most.
As a member of Chorley & Leyland Branch I have been involved with the Branch Team for most of my youngest child’s life (K’Boo). The NCT has been a lifeline for me and I have made some fabulous friends that I would love to keep in touch with even after K’Boo has started school. She is almost 4 years old and I hope to help contribute to organising activities that enable parents to keep in touch as their families develop and grow (organising more weekend events). My eldest daughter (H’Boo) is 11 years now and has enjoyed helping out in school holidays and at Nearly New Sales. She recognises my friends from the NCT as true and loyal friends and the NCT has been an important source of support for her also.  Even at her age (a well-established In Betweener) she loves to come to the Easter and Christmas Parties and is happy to help out and join in with the children’s activities (particularly craft and dancing).
Some of the roles I have held as a Branch Team Member are:
·         Membership Co-ordinator
·         Nearly New Sales Team (Volunteers Co-ordinator)
·         General Team Member – helping organise, promote & run events
I have also been noted for my ‘bare faced cheek’ (by none other than @kateab) for my methods of acquiring goodies and prizes that help us raise funds (hey, you don’t ask – you don’t get). These include:

@kateab herself has been and still is a valuable part of the Branch Team and has held roles such as Treasurer (which she still supports) and Regional Co-ordinator. As her children are a little older now she is not able to offer the huge amounts of support and guidance she has contributed to the branch over the years. But I do know that she is missed and is still regarded invaluable to the running of the branch and we would love her to be around (even if her team keeps winning the Annual Quiz Night every year :o)

The Children’s Christmas Party this year is at St Bedes Social Club, Clayton le Woods, Chorley on 12th December.  Father Christmas is attending and will be giving out fabulous presents to all of the children (age appropriate and approved).  There will be a party buffet, cakes and refreshments and fun and games for the children (and adults). Tickets are £5 per child and free to accompanying adults (there is tea and coffee for sale and a bar).  If you would like a ticket, please contact @kateab or myself. All families welcome.
Our Christmas Party/Meal for adults is at Dante’s on 16th December, where as many of us that can make it get together for a ‘well earned’ night out and the odd glass of vino (has to be 3, 5, 7 or 9 glasses to be odd), garlic bread served as standard, rather tasty Italian waiters and a bit of a boogie on the dance floor (which is easier after a few glasses).  If you want to join us (honest we’d love you to) drop us a line.
To find out more about Chorley & Leyland Branch email:

To find out more about the NCT and events near you log onto:

Time Out for Mums Blog:
HonieMummy Blog:

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