Derbyshire Sunday baby group specially for working parents takes first steps with the help of Lubrizol
A new-born Derbyshire baby group specially for working parents has been helped to take its first steps thanks to local company Lubrizol.
The fortnightly new baby and toddler session has been set up on Sundays in Kilburn specifically so that working parents can come along and that dads feel as welcome chatting about nappies, feeding and sleep deprivation as mums.
The group has been helped take its own first baby steps with the help of a donation from science company Lubrizol, whose UK headquarters is based in Hazelwood where it employs more than 350 people, many of whom are working parents.
Lee Parker, a financial analyst from Kilburn, helped set up the group which he attends with his six-month-old baby son, Henry.
He said: “One of the things I noticed when going back to work, was that baby groups are very much focused just towards the mother. I did use some annual leave to attend some of these groups with Henry, but I couldn’t really attend the majority. I thought about setting something up at a weekend, not just for fathers but for all parents who work.
“It’s great to spend time with Henry at the group, not just for me, but for him too. It’s that peer-to-peer network which is so important. As a dad, you can tend to get left to one side and not experience that part of your child’s life. Two weeks’ paternity leave doesn’t stretch that far.
“It’s not just for dads, either. Some of the mums I was talking to at our new group said they missed out on groups because their baby was born during Covid. That’s why I helped set up this new group. It gives you a sense of community and you get to meet parents with children the same age.”
Two regulars at the new group are Ian and Samantha Bell, from Belper, who come along with their baby, Kaylee.
Samantha said she had been delighted to find the group as having gone back to work it was hard to find anything available at a time she could attend, and it was also valuable for her husband Ian to come along too and get some peer support from other parents including dads.
She said: “It was amazing to find this group. I’ve been back at work part-time since Kaylee was four months old. As I finish at 12 every day, it was quite a big struggle to find anything that I could go along to. I was so happy to find something I could go to and take Kaylee as well. It’s good for Ian to be involved too.
“The group means that Kaylee can mix with other children her own age. It’s so important to do that, as being born during Covid she hadn’t really met other babies before. It’s lovely to be able to make new friends and get talking to people. I do find it hard sometimes to talk to other mums, and Ian likes it because he’s able to see Kaylee mixing with other little ones too.”
Claire Hollingshurst, from Lubrizol’s charities and communities committee which provided a donation to help set up the group, said: “Baby groups are so important when you’re a new parent, as much as for you as for the child. That support can make all the difference to your sense of wellbeing, especially for people who might not have a family network around them when they have children. I think it’s so brilliant that this new group has been set up on Sunday mornings to make it as widely available for people to come along. I hope it’s a great success and is widely used in the area.”
The Kilburn baby and toddler group has also benefited from support from the local parish council. Because its leaders are mindful of rises in the cost of living, it is free to enter and is held every other Sunday from 9.30am – 11.30am in the village hall. For more details email KilburnBaby@gmail.com
Photos: (l to r): Natalie and Jack Taylor with baby Bobby; Lee Parker with son Henry; Emily and Steve Turner with baby Olive