Aberlour Children’s Charity will now be able to provide vital support to mothers in East Lothian thanks to a National Lottery Award from the Big Lottery Fund.
The generous grant of £415,607 will enable the charity to set up an initiative which will support vulnerable women struggling with perinatal mental health issues. Perinatal mental health is a term used to cover all mental health issues during pregnancy and the first year after birth, including anxiety, depression and psychosis related disorders.
In 2015, the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that mild to moderate anxiety states and depressive illnesses affect between 10 and 15 in every 100 women during pregnancy, with around 15 to 30% of women experiencing adjustment disorders and distress. Additionally, almost a third of mothers have poor mental health at least once in their child’s first four years of life.
In order to tackle this issue, Aberlour’s Befriending and Understanding Mothers: Perinatal Support Service (BUMPS) will match mothers with volunteer befrienders, trained to give regular emotional support as well as guidance to help develop a positive relationship between mother and baby.
After piloting the scheme in Falkirk, Aberlour decided to roll BUMPS out across East Lothian, having worked closely with the Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership, identifying high levels of women with perinatal mental health illness in the area.
Catherine Thomas, Head of Fundraising at Aberlour Children’s Charity, said: “We are so grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for choosing us as recipients of the National Lottery Award. A grant like this is instrumental in enabling us to help pregnant women, struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
We have already piloted the Perinatal Befriending Support Service in Falkirk, so we know how important the initiative is to mothers and families. To be able to give this valuable training to our volunteers, equips them with the skills to make marked differences to the lives of those who they interact with and that’s something we are really thankful for.”
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that Aberlour Children’s Charity has been successful in securing National Lottery funding. The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Aberlour Children’s Charity every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”