2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Breastfeeding Network
Cast your mind back to 1997 – the year Tony Blair and Labour won a landslide election, the Spice Girls went to number one with ‘Wannabe’, Princess Diana died, Tellytubbies was aired for the first time, Dolly the Sheep was cloned and the Breastfeeding Network was established!
BfN was founded by a group of mums who were originally trained volunteer Breastfeeding Supporters working for another UK charity. That charity accepted money from a manufacturer of powdered baby milk. The founding members resigned in protest – but wanted to be able to go on providing support for breastfeeding women in their local communities and throughout the UK.
The Breastfeeding Network was set up, with a constitution which ensures that we remain independent of commercial influence.
Twenty years on, we have grown from a few mums working on plans around a kitchen table to a national charity employing over 150 staff members and over 1000 volunteers working across the country. We have supported hundreds of thousands of families over the last two decades and we still stick strongly to our ethos of independent, mother-centred support.
In 2017 we want to celebrate all that is brilliant and unique about the Breastfeeding Network.
We have an ambitious fundraising target for the year of £20,000. Achieving this total would make a huge difference to the level of support we can offer families. There will be lots of different ways you can get involved and help us reach our target throughout the year, but if you value BfN’s independent ethos and want to say thank you for 20 years supporting mums, why not start right now with a quick £3 text donation – text ABFN10 £3 to 70070. Also, as part of the birthday celebrations we will be doing our first BfN Virtual run as part of the Mums’ Milk Run event in May. Click here for more information.
We are also asking people to get involved by making a #pledge20 for BfN – pledge to do 20 of *something* to help support breastfeeding families… here’s a few ideas:
- Answer 20 calls on the helpline
- Attend 20 drop in sessions
- Sign up 20 venues to our Breastfeeding Friendly scheme
- Put up 20 NBH posters
- Get sponsored to run 20k for Mums’ Milk Run
- Bake 20 cupcakes for a Big Tea Break event
- Crochet 20 ‘boobles’
Whatever you want to do, use this form to let us know your plans, share them on social media and get involved!
Help us create a gallery of (mammary) memories!
Please do get in touch if you have vintage BfN leaflets, photos, memories or stories from the past 20 years – were you there at the very beginning? Are you now supporting mums who were babies when BfN began? What has BfN meant to you over the years?
We’d love to see pictures and hear all about it – we’re aiming to develop an online gallery of BfN memories so please do contribute whatever you can – whether it’s something from 1997, 2007 or 2017, and however embarrassing the hairstyles or clothes, please do send it in!