News / coronavirus

Supporting mothers in difficult circumstances through the coronavirus pandemic

By lowie trevena, Tuesday Apr 14, 2020

Project MAMA, a charity providing antenatal, birth and postnatal support for female refugees and asylum-seekers and other displaced women, has launched a fundraiser.

The charity is raising £4,600 to deliver solidarity packages to those who need them.

The coronavirus pandemic has made life for pregnant and new mothers increasingly difficult, and especially so for women who are refugees, seeking asylum or have irregular immigration status.

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Bulk buying of nappies and formula has left empty shelves in many supermarkets. Along with the practical difficulties of social distancing, isolation, poverty and other pressures that are all too common for many families has made the current situation incredibly difficult.

“Mothers have told us that they are struggling to buy nappies and milk for their babies and are very worried for their children and themselves if these barriers continue,” say the team at Project MAMA. “We have expanded our support to include women in need in general.”

Project MAMA’s CEO and founder, Fiona Mann, says: “We looked at who we were supporting and we realised that, actually, vulnerable mamas everywhere are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

“So, we are now supporting any mama referred to us in Bristol who maybe is a single mother, maybe they’re socially isolating because of underlying health issues, maybe they’re in recipient of benefits or on low income, maybe they’re at risk of destitution or poverty.”

The charity’s solidarity care packages are a response to this urgent need for support from mothers of all backgrounds.

The package includes a weekly phone call to check-in with all clients and new referrals. The call will help to find out what practical support the mother might need as well as to provide a friendly person to talk to, with an interpreter if needed.

The packages also include delivering food and crucial baby care items, such as nappies, formula and wipes, directly to people’s homes. The Plough Inn are supplying fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fresh fruit and vegetables from the Plough Inn in Easton

Project MAMA have already been inundated with referrals from across Bristol and hope to help up to 60 women a month.

“The current Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has made a situation that is already very difficult for many women far harder,” says the Project MAMA team. “Additionally, it has cut off the lifeline of much needed community hubs and support for many.

“Such unprecedented times call for unprecedented levels of support. Through this, we hope to reach out to be able to reach out those who are experiencing greater vulnerability in these incredibly difficult times.”

Donate to the fundraiser www.chuffed.org/project/covid-19-solidarity-for-isolated-mums at and access the referral form at www.projectmama.org

All photos: Project MAMA

Read more: The charity supporting Bristol’s migrant mothers

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