The Mums Clique charity, which is already a thriving community online, has moved to Millwater, opening a centre where mothers can gather, have a cup of tea and share their experiences.
The nationwide charity started last year (HM August 21, 2019) as a way to empower, educate and connect Kiwi mums, and has thousands of mothers in its online community.
Founder Abbey Fouche lives in Silverdale and started her first centre locally, at the Hibiscus Coast Community House in Orewa. That lasted only two weeks, as Abbey says they quickly outgrew this space. They moved into Stoney Homestead in Millwater last month, providing a play-space for babies and areas for presentations and one-on-one support/counselling.
Abbey says mums of all ages have come along, and the children range in age from three weeks old to six years.
“We are open to all mums – whether the children are at college and you are feeling isolated, or you’re pregnant, or a new mum, and everyone in between,” Abbey says. “You can come with, or without, your children.”
She says during lockdown, the need for the group’s services “went through the roof” and Abbey left her job to devote herself to Mums Clique fulltime.
“We got a lot of women seeking help during lockdown for things like mental health support,” she says. “Domestic violence was also a big one, and we can connect women with organisations that provide that kind of support.”
Stoney Homestead provides a homely, comfortable setting for the mums to gather.
One mum who has been to every session, Kayla McGuire of Helensville, says although it’s great to have a chat on Facebook, there is nothing better than being around other mums and bubs, learning from each other.
She says the relaxed, casual vibe and the fact that it is free are also big attractions.
“It’s a non-judgmental community and the mums have each other’s back,” Abbey says.
As well as the playgroup, there are information and education sessions with local professionals such as nutritionists, chiropractors and midwives.
Appointments with a maternal mental health specialist are also available, for $20 per session, starting this month.
Abbey says the Millwater centre is a pilot, and is already growing with as many as 35 mums and their babies turning up for some playgroup sessions.
Treasures, which closed down recently, was the group’s main sponsor so the Mum’s Clique is currently looking for other businesses who can support them.
Playgroups are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am-12 noon at Stoney Homestead, 12 Galbraith greens, Millwater.
The playgroups are free, but a koha is appreciated.