All about Happy Mums
To come together to provide acceptance and hope through shared experience of maternal mental health. To contribute to our community’s wellbeing and economy through social enterprise.
A community where maternal mental health is embraced, with reduced negative impact on mum, child and family. Where we are a renowned leader in the provision of peer-led support.
Our peer-led approach empowers women to navigate the complexities of motherhood, strengthen their resilience, and inspire hope, reminding us that we’re never alone in our journey.
Bringing empathy, shared experiences, and a unique understanding of the challenges faced by mothers. Our staff, volunteers and group members foster a sense of community, offer relatable insights, and create a safe space for open dialogue.
Mums need to feel safe to be vulnerable and share deeply personal experiences.
We foster that safety in a number of ways; through our group agreement, through our lived-experiences and through our dedication to training in safeguarding.
By prioritizing safety, we create an environment where trust can flourish, allowing mothers to share their struggles, fears, and triumphs without judgment.
Embracing our mental health as a part of us, dealing with the good and the bad, supporting others through similar experiences. Being able to use some of our own darkest moments to help others can be incredibly empowering.
This empowerment not only redefines the narrative of maternal mental health but also sparks a ripple effect of resilience and transformation, proving that mothers, with the right support, can not only heal but also rise as guiding lights for a brighter future.
We firmly believe that every mother’s story is unique and every voice deserves to be heard. By embracing diversity, we can create a tapestry of shared experiences that transcends boundaries.
But it’s not just as simple as saying we are inclusive, we have to work at creating links across cultures, abilities and barriers that we might not even be aware of yet. To support this work we run an inclusion panel every 6 months and are always open to feedback and suggestions.
Just as a strong foundation supports a growing family, sustainable practices fortify our ability to extend care and compassion to those in need.
Whether that’s through financial and environmental factors, or how we look after our team to ensure they are well enough to look after others in return.
We are committed to ensuring there are safe spaces across Cumbria for mums to be open about their mental health and emotional well-being.
To keep that commitment we must continually re-visit our operations to ensure we are working in an effective and sustainable manor.
How it all began...
After receiving treatment at a Psychiatric Mother and Baby Unit when her first daughter was born, Katherine Dalgliesh, founder of The Happy Mums Foundation, struggled to get the support she needed when she went back home.
In 2015 she decided to set up a group where mums could discuss their mental health – free from judgement and stigma. Initially she ran the groups in her spare time, but once she bid successfully for Comic Relief funding in 2016, was able to dedicate more time to the cause she felt so much passion for.
Since then we have won several awards including Best New Cumbrian Social Enterprise in 2018 and a national Marsh award from Mind in 2021. Katherine was named a Point of Light in 2020 by the government in recognition of her dedication to the maternal mental health sector.
Today we run 23 support groups a month across Cumbria and online, reaching and supporting around 100 families a year.
In 22/23 Happy Mums ran 228 peer support groups for with Maternal Mental Health problems across North and West Cumbria both face-to-face and online. We engaged with 89 women over the year and recorded an 78% improvement in mental health related symptoms.
97% of the women we engage with feel less isolated as a result of the support provided via Happy Mums.
We continue to work hard to reach under-served communities and embody inclusivity across all our activities, the number of younger mums engaged with has increased to 12% whilst mums from non-white British backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTQ+ remain as 12% and 5% respectively
Our key stakeholders are women with maternal health problems in North West and east Cumbria their children, partners and families. As well as health professionals who work with women and families in the perinatal period.
We have recruited and trained 8 volunteers this year some of whom will go on to be ambassadors, inclusion champions, group helpers and facilitators for our organisation.