Touchstone offers new parents the Best Start

A new service to enable pregnant women together with parents and carers of babies aged 0-2 to support each other is being launched in South Leeds.

Photo: Joe Shlabotnik via Creative Commons

The three year project will develop a training programme to help ‘Peer Supporters’ – parents who can support other parents. Working alongside parents and carers, the project will develop a course to get across key health and wellbeing messages and also enable new parents and carers to support each other, reducing isolation. From this it is hoped to recruit a host of volunteer Peer Supporters and pay some Peer Mentors to work with other parents and carers in the community.

The new project is being run by Beeston-based mental health charity Touchstone in partnership with Hunslet-based Women’s Health Matters and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s Early Start Service.

Coordinating the service will be Karen Marshall, who has a background in mental health and wellbeing, youth and community work, will be.   The Best Start peer support service will develop links and connect with the Health Visiting services, build on Women’s Health Matters excellence in supporting the most vulnerable women and on Touchstone’s growing volunteering and peer support work.

The programme is funded by the NHS South and East CCG and commissioned by Leeds City Council’s Public Health. It will contribute to the achievement of the city’s Best Start strategy.

For more information contact Karen (0113) 271 8277; or email: