Maidstone Children’s Centres are celebrating a recent recruitment which has seen more than 30 volunteers join its ranks.
The new additions – 17 children’s centre and 15 breastfeeding peer volunteers – will support its universal groups across the six Kent County Council centres in the district.
The volunteers completed recent training and an induction through a four week programme, plus an eight week intensive programme for the breastfeeding volunteers.
They have now been allocated with a mentor and help to support the facilitation of the Stay and Play groups and other activities.
Naresh Katnoria is from Kent County Council’s Early Help & Preventative Services in Maidstone District.
She said: “This is our first celebration of all the volunteers and we are inviting past, present and new volunteers to meet staff and managers.
For some of the volunteers, it is to gain experience and give something back. They also enjoy helping other families, it builds their confidence and helps with their long term goal of gaining employment and training.
Volunteer Melissa Saxby said: “This is the best training course I have been on. It’s wonderful to be invested in and to feel valued.
“I’m very much looking forward to being a part of the Sure Start team and giving back to an organisation that has helped me so much in the early stages of parenting.”
And breastfeeding peer support volunteer, mum-of-three Stacey Brown, added: “I have loved training as a peer supporter, it has enabled me to do something for myself and to meet other mums with the same passion.
“It has also helped me to gain the skills to help other mums who may be in the same situation as me, whether it be just wanting to find other breastfeeding mums or needing a little help and reassurance.”
The celebration was beheld on Monday (June 15) from 10am to noon where they were presented with their certificate of completion of training.