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4 January 2012, 05:35
30 mums with post-natal depression have been helped since a new service was set up in Oxford back in March.
It's hoped the pilot programme will eventually halve the number of women suffering post natal depression in Oxford.
It's thought around 340 new mums in Oxford are affected.
That's based on the birth rates in Oxford in 2009 with 1 in 6 pregnant women affected by mental distress.
Through the project, run by charity Family Action, vulnerable and isolated pregnant women and new mums with babies up to one year old are helped by volunteer befrienders, who understand the loneliness and worries that sometimes comes with a new baby.
Family Action has been a leading provider of services to disadvantaged and socially isolated families since 1869.
The service is based at The Jubilee Community Centre in Blackbird Leys.
Trish Moore of the new service highlights the necessity of the befriender's role:
"We can't provide this service without volunteers. Those who have experienced childbirth and bring up children have such a lot of hope to offer to new mums and between them they can have a big impact on postnatal depression and child development."
Those interested in volunteering should contact Trish Moore: 07585 790 633.
There were 45 referrals in 2011 with the waiting list having to be closed because there weren't enough volunteers to take any more on.
But the waiting list is open again from January 2012.
The project is one of four new services being funded by £699,153 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities programme, the Monument Trust and Henry Smith Charity.
Trish has told Heart they are already looking for funding so they will be able to continue the project from the summer.