Volunteer opportunity at our Macclesfield Peer Support Group

As a Cheshire-East perinatal mental health charity, Smile Group provides a blend of support for expectant and new parents experiencing emotional challenges. Due to the ongoing demand for our service, we have an opening for a volunteer role at our weekly Macclesfield peer support groups, which run out of Ash Grove Children’s Centre on Fridays, 10-12 noon.

Smile offers parents compassionate support in trusted spaces with four weekly peer support groups (Nantwich, Sandbach, Congleton and Macclesfield) as well as 1-1 support, talk therapy and monthly family sessions.

Our team includes skilled wellbeing practitioners who lead on support delivery and a team of volunteers who play a valuable role at groups. They engage with babies and toddlers, coordinate play activities, prepare refreshments and support wellbeing practitioners to ensure groups run smoothly and are a welcoming, safe space to be.

Many of our volunteers choose to join Smile as a result of their own experience and recovery from perinatal mental health challenges, while others simply want to give back to the charity in a volunteering capacity.

For anyone interested in this role, here are some words from a volunteer who felt moved to share what it meant for her to be part of Smile in this role:

“As a new Mum I really struggled. One of the biggest feelings I had was the sense of isolation, of being alone in my feelings and being the ‘only one’. These feelings left me with a huge sense of guilt and shame.

For me, being able to connect with other parents who shared similar experiences and feelings offered me a huge sense of relief. Smile groups give that to mums. The opportunity to connect in a safe and supportive space. A chance to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood without fearing judgment. Having experienced my own struggles, it felt really powerful to be able to volunteer with Smile and support the running of their groups. It gave me the opportunity to give back some of the support I had found so beneficial myself. It was also a really powerful reflection on how far I had come on my own journey.

Throughout my volunteering experience I felt well supported and valued. I thoroughly recommend volunteering with Smile as a truly beneficial experience, not just for the mums you help to support, but also for you own well-being.”

For more information about this volunteer role at our Macclesfield Peer Support Group, please contact connect@smilegroup.org.uk and to find out more about Smile Group visit www.smilegroup.org.uk. Expressions of interest in the role are invited by 11th January 2023.

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