Mothers Matter are a not-for-profit organisation who offer pre- and post-natal support for women and their families up until the child is 5 years old.
Mothers Matter began as a community project in December 2020, when founder Katy Thomas recognised the lack of support for women and their families.
Katy said: “We established ourselves as a community group to support expectant mothers. We set up an online presence that gave mothers a place to go and feel listened to, giving them the opportunity to chat to other mothers about their thoughts and feelings and providing them with support when they were struggling with mental health.”
“We spoke to women in Rhondda Cynon Taf and conducted surveys to gather feedback from expectant or new mothers. The women who took part described feelings of isolation, worry, guilt, stress and so much more. Many grieved what they felt were lost opportunities for them and their baby, and worried about the developmental impact of social isolation on their little one due to COVID.”
Following this insight, Mothers Matter offered a pilot scheme to three organisations, including the NHS and children’s services of free home support, offering mothers a friend, someone to listen to and supporting them with coping mechanisms and goals to strive for, providing them with some hope and purpose.
Katy revealed: “Within two weeks of offering the pilot scheme we were overrun with referrals, visiting over 100 mothers, fortnightly. We soon realised, that the mothers needed to get out into the community which became the reason we decided to open three Wellbeing Hubs.”
“Currently, the hubs are run by our support staff and volunteers. There are 7 of us in total, me as the founder who oversees all projects and support, and then we have three community home support workers, a project coordinator, a community liaison officer and office admin.”
Mothers Matter applied for a grant through the Trivallis Community Investment Fund, which is administered by Community Foundations Wales and were successful in receiving a £5,000 grant.
Katy explained what the grant helped with. She said: “We first found out about the Trivallis Community Investment Fund through Interlink who we work closely with. Once we applied and received the grant, we were able to do so much.”
“Some of the things we have been able to do include, paying for a support worker to work with us for five hours a week, purchased new furniture that has allowed us to run a baby and toddler group. We’ve been able to provide things like nappies, refreshments, and supplies at our workshops and peer groups. It has even helped us to run new classes for the community to enjoy for free.”
Back in December, Lisa Roberts, Partnership Officer at Trivallis was invited to attend the opening of one of the Wellbeing Hub’s that Mothers Matter have, to see how the grant has helped.
Lisa said: “We are so pleased to see how the Trivallis Community Investment Fund has helped with the establishment of the new hub in Tonypandy. Mothers Matters provide an invaluable service to both mams and dads and with the cost of living crisis effecting families not only financially but also having a knock on effect on mental and physical wellbeing, services such as those that Katy and the team provide are all the more indispensable.”
Mothers Matter are based in different areas across Rhondda Cynon Taf, with Wellbeing Hubs in Mountain Ash, Church Village and Tonypandy.
Katy explained: “Our aim and passion is to reduce the number of women and their families getting to crisis point, to overcome the mental and emotional harm that pregnancy related illness can have. We encourage women to rebuild their life at their own pace by supporting them through one-to-one counselling, support services, help groups, and providing a safe space, which is why our Wellbeing Hubs are crucial to our work. We host a safe and welcoming environment for parents to meet and feel supported.”
The images below show Katy and her team cutting the ribbon to open their new Wellbeing Hub in Tonypandy in December.