This Mother's Day we're celebrating the wonderful Mums in our community! We recently had the pleasure of welcoming the Mums and Children from Mama to Mama's singing group Lula Bye Bye to our store to share some folk songs from around the world with us. Mama to Mama is a fantastic community-based initiative that supports vulnerable Mums and provides a safe space for Mamas to meet one another and uplift each other. We spoke to Jess and Jayne, founders of Mama to Mama and asked them to share a little bit more about why Mama to Mama is so important to them...
Can you briefly introduce yourselves?
We are Jess and Jayne, co-founders of Mama To Mama! We both moved to Margate in January 2020, became friends soon after and the rest is history!
Tell us a little about Mama to Mama and how it all started!
We collect donations of preloved baby clothes and essentials and package them into beautiful collections for gifting to vulnerable expectant mothers in Thanet. We take referrals from social care and maternity services, and support women who are facing significant financial, social and/or mental health challenges. Our mum and baby packages ensure that both mum and baby have all the essentials they need for those crucial first few months.
It pretty much started by accident! Jayne was donating some baby clothes to a community project during the winter lockdown of 2021, asked if there was anything she could do to help, and suggested making up a few collections for expectant mums. From there, it just escalated! Jayne recruited a team of volunteers and before long was getting contacted by social workers and midwives, and soon after we teamed up because I (Jess) have a background in social enterprise and start-ups. Over the summer we ran a crowdfunder where we were blown away by the support from the community and the funds from that enabled us to secure a great project space and professionalise the operation!
One of the curated boxes put together by Mama to Mama
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
The most rewarding part is when we get feedback from the mums who've received our packages, or their social workers / midwives. When we receive referrals, we learn a little bit about each woman and her circumstances, which are often extremely challenging. So knowing that we've been able to relieve some financial strains and anxieties, provide a little boost to her self-worth or wellbeing and hopefully make that newborn period a little bit more manageable for her... that's why we do it!
What are your hopes for Mama to Mama in the future?
Sustaining a project like this isn't easy! We receive no income from the council or maternity services, so we rely entirely on individual donations, other fundraising efforts and some income from the hiring out of our venue. So our main hope is that we can continue to say yes to every request for support for a mum in need, and that we can keep learning and improving what we do in the years to come!
What's your favourite part about motherhood?
I love watching my babies become little people with their own unique personalities. I have three, and they're all so different, sometimes I wonder where they came from! Every stage of their development has its ups and downs
What is 1 piece of advice you'd like to offer to new mums?
Everything is just a phase! Whatever it is you're struggling with, just know that it won't last forever, and there are some easier days just around the corner. Also, try not to spend too much time on Google in those early days, asking if it's normal for your baby to be making dinosaur noises in their sleep... Text a mum friend instead! (Also, the answer is usually "yes, that's completely normal"!)
How can people help to support what you do?
We are always looking for help with our fundraising efforts, so any ideas on that front or direct donations are always very gratefully received! And check out our Instagram page for details of our donation days and other workshops/events where proceeds from ticket sales go towards funding our service.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Just a big thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far (including all the lovely folk at Artisans & Adventurers)!