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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust launches online chat forum for Hampshire families with Channel Mum.

2 November 2020

From August this year, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Children and Family Services, supporting children from 0- 19 years through health visiting and school nursing services, have been undergoing a digital transformation.

They have been working with various partners to develop and deliver a new online service to support Hampshire Families.

Hampshire Healthy Families was launched in partnership with the charity Barnardos and aim to keep families updated with the latest health advice.

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Part of this service was to launch a forum for Hampshire parents and carers. This is where Channel Mum stepped in! Channelmum.com are the UK’s largest growing parent brand, which provides a safe space to open up and discuss parenting and health issues amongst their peers.  It is a great fit with the digital offering that Hampshire Healthy Families are looking for, as it brings a mix of blogs, videos and trusted articles from health professionals. ChannelMum.com is the brainchild of Siobhan Freegard OBE, who also founded Netmums, the UK's first digital network for parents back in 2000. Siobhan was awarded an OBE for Services to Families in 2014 by Prince William, with the Royal confiding he follows her parenting tips with the Duchess of Cambridge.

One of the main area’s that was key for Southern Health NHS was to have a space where parents could message the page and a health care professional be on hand. Channel Mum offers just this. Within the ‘Chat’ section of the website, a health visitor is often on hand to join the conversations as well as moderate over the forum. There is also a bank of health visiting approved resources which include videos, infographics and free downloadable tools.

Siobhan Freegard OBE, founder of ChannelMum.com said: “Raising the next generation is the world’s most important job, so we’re delighted to be working with Southern Health to support and nurture families and give them the best start in life. Many modern families are ‘digital natives’ who are used to seeking advice online so ChannelMum.com’s involvement will allow the Southern Health team to focus on the families who need additional support, ensuring the best outcome for local parents, carers and children.”

Ginny Taylor, the Deputy Director of Operations within Children and Family Services has welcomed the partnership ‘We are delighted to be working with Channel Mum. They have a great ethos supporting parents throughout their child’s journey as well as providing great resources around maternal mental health and help to connect families with their peers, especially at the moment where new mums often feel isolated. They can reach out and connect with a whole community of other parents and carer’s in the same position throughout Hampshire.’

Channel Mum’s Online Support Group with Southern Health is now live and can be accessed either through www.hampshirehealthyfamilies.org.uk or www.channelmum.com.

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