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

11th March 2021

‘It Takes a Village’ is an uplifting and informative mini-podcast series brought to you by The National Lottery.

Social media header for the Podcast It Takes a Village
Social media header for the Podcast It Takes a Village.

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.

Listen to all 3 episodes bellow now or on Spotify:

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.

You can listen below, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.


Little Village supports 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.

A few woman collecting donations at Cwtch Baby bank
A few woman collecting donations at Cwtch Baby bank, Wales.

Episode 2 – Grief & Loss

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.

*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.

You can listen below, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.



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.

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

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 Leanne Evans, founder of Fit Moms & Kids in Glengormley, Northern and Margaret Logue, Centre Director of the Women’s Centre in Derry.

You can listen below, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Fit Moms & Kids support children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and their mothers in Northern Ireland. 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 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.

A big group of women from The Women's Centre posing for a picture group, Derry.
A big group of women from The Women's Centre posing for a picture group, Derry.

You can listen to ‘It Takes a Village’ wherever you get your podcasts. 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.

Each week, National Lottery players raise £36 million for projects across the UK making vital projects like these possible.