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It Takes A Village - A Parenting Podcast from The National Lottery

11th Mawrth 2021

‘It Takes a Village’ is an uplifting and informative mini-podcast series brought to you by The National Lottery. Hosted by TV Presenter and Parenting Podcaster Anna Williamson, ‘It Takes a Village’ showcases the amazing National-Lottery funded charities that offer support to mums that might be needing some extra hope, advice and guidance at this time.

With Mother’s Day on Sunday 14th March, each episode of ‘It Takes a Village’ focuses on a different theme around motherhood, whether that is supporting your mental and physical health, providing essential items for your child, or dealing with grief and pain of losing a child. Mum-of-two Anna Williamson speaks to some of the brilliant projects who’ve received National Lottery funding to support mothers with these issues, as well as opening up about their own journeys through motherhood.

Or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Episode 1 – Baby Banks

Episode 1 focuses on how you can get some extra supplies for you and your baby, from the essentials and beyond. Anna speaks to Hilary Johnston, foster mum and founder of Cwtch in Cardiff, and Sophie Livingstone, the CEO Little Village who are based in London. Both Cwtch and Little Village are baby banks, like food banks but providing clothes, toys and equipment for babies and young families.

Little Village support babies and children up to the age of 5, sourcing donations of pre-loved items which are passed on to the families that need them. With hubs in Camden, Wandsworth and Southwark, over the last five years they’ve been able to support thousands of families across London. In 2020, they supported 6,750 children, more than double that of the previous year.

Cwtch Baby Bank is the first of its in Wales, providing baby items to vulnerable families. Founder Hilary wanted to donate the equipment and clothes she’d acquired over 20 years as a foster parents, and after discovering there weren’t any charities in Wales taking baby donations, she set up Cwtch. Since 2016 they’ve helped over 2700 families.

Little Village support babies and children up to the age of 5, sourcing donations of pre-loved items which are passed on to the families that need them. With hubs in Camden, Wandsworth and Southwark, over the last five years they’ve been able to support thousands of families across London. In 2020, they supported 6,750 children, more than double that of the previous year.

Collecting donations at Cwtch Baby bank

Cwtch Baby Bank is the first of its in Wales, providing baby items to vulnerable families. Founder Hilary wanted to donate the equipment and clothes she’d acquired over 20 years as a foster parents, and after discovering there weren’t any charities in Wales taking baby donations, she set up Cwtch. Since 2016 they’ve helped over 2700 families.

Episode 2 – Grief & Loss

*Please note that this episode discusses the very difficult topic of stillbirth and losing a child – please be mindful of your own mental health and emotional response*


Episode 2 provides support and advice for those who might have tragically lost a baby, or for those who might be supporting someone through their grief. Anna speaks to Clea Harmer, the CEO of UK-wide Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS), and Julie Morrison, Founder of Baby Loss Retreat in Glasgow, both of whom were inspired to help others after their own personal experiences of baby loss.

SANDS provides support in a range of ways, including a helpline, app, online community and a network of regional support groups. They also fund research into better understanding the cause of baby deaths, and work with healthcare professionals, trusts and health boards.

After losing her own baby at 37 weeks, Julie Morrison felt she wasn’t getting the right support. After taking some time away with her husband, she set up Baby Loss Retreat, a place where bereaved parents could spend some time to talk about their experience and be supported by counsellors.

SANDS provides support in a range of ways, including a helpline, app, online community and a network of regional support groups. They also fund research into better understanding the cause of baby deaths, and work with healthcare professionals, trusts and health boards.

Julie Morrison of Baby Loss Retreat, who won a National Lottery Award in 2020.

After losing her own baby at 37 weeks, Julie Morrison felt she wasn’t getting the right support. After taking some time away with her husband, she set up Baby Loss Retreat, a place where bereaved parents could spend some time to talk about their experience and be supported by counsellors.

Episode 3 – Mental & Physical Wellbeing

Episode 3 concentrates on the vital importance of looking after your own mental and physical health as a mother, and how you can seek support with this. Anna speaks to Margaret Logue, Centre Director of the Women’s Centre in Derry, and Leanne Evans, founder of Fit Moms & Kids in Glengormley, Northern Ireland.

The Women’s Centre in Derry is a welcoming space for all women to enable transformation in themselves and the community around them. This might be receiving support to overcome barriers to employment, undertaking training, or expanding social circles. The Centre also offers onsite childcare to enable mothers to take time for themselves.

Fit Moms & Kids support children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and their mothers. Founder and CEO Leanne was inspired to support other mothers after her own journey with three children, two of whom are on the ASD spectrum. Her fitness classes allow mothers to do something for themselves to improve their own physical and mental health.

Fit Moms & Kids support children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and their mothers. Founder and CEO Leanne was inspired to support other mothers after her own journey with three children, two of whom are on the ASD spectrum. Her fitness classes allow mothers to do something for themselves to improve their own physical and mental health.

The Women's Centre, Derry

The Women’s Centre in Derry is a welcoming space for all women to enable transformation in themselves and the community around them. This might be receiving support to overcome barriers to employment, undertaking training, or expanding social circles. The Centre also offers onsite childcare to enable mothers to take time for themselves.

You can listen to ‘It Takes a Village’ via National Lottery Good Causes social channels. If you require some extra support at this time and you are local to any of the projects you have heard in this podcast, please get in contact via their websites.

As always, a big thank you to National Lottery players who raise around £30 million for good causes every week that funds thousands of projects like the ones that feature on ‘It Takes a Village’.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, The National Lottery has distributed over £1 billion in funding to support across arts, sports, community and charity, heritage, education and the environment.