Jessica Svejdar, service co-ordinator with Miriam Donaghy, MumsAid founder

A mental health charity based in Blackheath has won a national award for its work in supporting pregnant women and new mothers in southeast London.

Since it was founded in 2012, MumsAid has supported over 2,000 mothers and given 15,000 counselling sessions. It offers counselling for individuals and couples, befriending, a group therapy programme with free crèche, and creative groups including singing and art. It has continued its work despite the pressures of the pandemic.

Now it has been named one of the ten winners of the GSK Impact award, which will see it given £30,000 as well as expert support and leadership development from The King’s Fund, a health and care charity.

Lisa Weaks, assistant director of The King’s Fund, said: “More than one in ten women develop a mental illness while pregnant or in the first year of motherhood. MumsAid provides a real lifeline for new and expectant mothers, offering comprehensive mental health support to women and their partners across Greenwich.

“The charity works hard to ensure it offers highly accessible and flexible services and reaches everyone who needs them. Its work with young mothers, many of whom have had a difficult start themselves, is particularly impressive, as is the charity’s commitment to understanding the difference its work makes.”

Miriam Donaghy, MumsAid’s founder and chief executive, said: “We are all so delighted to receive the GSK Impact award. Being recognised for MumsAid’s work and selected out of 350 charities across the UK is a real boost to our team and community of mums. The award brings with it the opportunity to provide the right help, to more mothers at this time of increasing need for maternal mental health.

“The leadership development we will be receiving from The King’s Fund, together with £30,000 funding comes an important time as MumsAid’s specialist perinatal counselling services, now offered online, are in considerable demand. This award could not have come at a better time for MumsAid to support more mums and their families.”

In the year to March 2020 it provided therapeutic support to over 320 mothers, 94 per cent of whom reported a significant reduction in depression. With Greenwich having one of the highest teenage conception rates in London, the charity runs a programme to offer counselling and support for mothers aged 14 to 21.

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