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“Socialcise” Mum and baby “walk and talk” group gets going in Andover 

A new Andover based group bringing together mums (or dads!) with their babies for a gentle walk and chat is starting up on Monday 7 and Thursday 10 November 2016   - and all parents and their babies are welcome to join.

Group leaders, Jenny O’Leary and Olga Raspopina have set up a new Ready Steady Mums ‘Socialcise’ group in Andover. With support from Anwen Naylor Evans, health visitor from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s health visiting team, the Andover group aims to bring mothers together in the local community to walk and chat together and get to know each other.

“Since having my baby, I started to feel a bit on my own and wanted to meet other mums to have a chat.  My health visitor suggested setting up a Ready Steady Mums group – and it sounded such a great idea to take a walk in the fresh air and talk to other mums about all sorts of things.”

“Our first meeting to walk and talk is at Anton Lakes car park, Andover on Monday 7 November at 10am and Thursday 10 November at 2pm walking from Augusta Park Community Centre car park.  We’ve already got a number of mums and their babies who are interested to join us at our first walk – and other mums are also welcome to join us – we are looking forward to it.”

“I know that some mums may have some concerns and reservations thinking that we’re all keep fit fanatics.  But we’re not and you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to do this – we are just going for a gentle walk together.”

Liz Taylor, Associate Director of Nursing and AHP-Children and Families Services at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, says “Ready Steady Mums is a great programme. Bringing more mums together for gentle exercise and socialising can make a huge difference to emotional mood and physical wellbeing during the days and weeks after birth.  It’s a great opportunity to develop valuable friendships, as well as a new sense of identity and confidence. We are delighted to be able to support the new groups starting up in Andover.”

Ready Steady Mums ‘Socialcise’ groups are part of a national network of volunteer-led community activity groups for mothers where mothers meet locally to walk and chat together, such as in a park or community centre. Started by a mum who came up with the idea when she began walking with fellow mums together in the fresh air a few weeks after her first son was born, the idea spread and new groups sprouted up with their own group leaders.  Recognising the critical role that health visitors played in supporting new Group Leaders, the Ready Steady Mums is now an Institute for Health Visiting-led programme, retaining great involvement from volunteer mums.

The new Andover Ready Steady Mums ‘Socialcise’ group will meet at 10.00am every Monday at Anton Lakes Car Park and every Thursday at 2pm starting from Augusta Community Centre for the initial walk.    There is a Facebook Page which people can request to join ‘Ready Steady Mums Andover’
For further details or to find out more, please contact your local group organiser Anwen Naylor Evans 01962 763993 alternatively email  Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust health visiting team at  hp-tr.farnboroughteam@nhs.net