At the heart of our organisation are our volunteers who give their time to support other families in their communities and over the helplines. We currently have over 1000 volunteers across the UK of all ages and from all backgrounds. You can give a few hours every week, or each month or offer to help with a specific task or event for a short period of time, it is completely up to you. Some people volunteer to give something back as a thank you for the support they received, others do it to meet new people or gain experience that might help them find a job. Whatever your reasons we would love to hear from you. Our volunteers make us who we are and enable us to support thousands of families each year, why not join us!
If you would like to volunteer your time to support other mums with breastfeeding you will first need to complete our Training. This helps us make sure that the support and information our volunteers offer is safe, up to date and consistent across the UK. To find out more about our training and how to see if there is training in your area click here. We would love to be able to offer training to everyone who asked, but unfortunately, this is not possible due to funding. This means we may not have training available in your area or you may need to wait for several months before you can get a place on a course.
If there is no training in your area, you are waiting for your course to start or if you don’t think doing the training is for you there are still lots of ways you can help support us. There are some examples below of the type of things that you could do and we are always happy to hear other suggestions and ideas
- Get in touch with your local BfN group and offer to distribute posters and leaflets to local health centres, libraries, cafes, swimming pools and other community venues – Find your local group here
- Organise a fundraising event or take part in a sponsored challenge on behalf of the BfN, see our Fundraising pages for more ideas
- Become a Friend of the Breastfeeding Network to help support the work we do and to receive copies of our quarterly electronic newsletter
- Help with events for families who can be harder to reach, for example specific cultural groups or young parents
- Helping us translate our resources into different languages to support more families
- Write an article for our newsletter, for example about your own breastfeeding experience, why you would like to train with us or what difference BfN support made to you
- Organise an event for families to come along and meet the BfN and find out more about breastfeeding and support
- Help so that mums with disabilities can more easily access our support eg Reading and recording our information sheets for those with sight difficulties, sign language support for mums with hearing impairment, support for mums with physical disabilities to be able to come along to breastfeeding groups
We are also always very happy to hear from people with specialist skills that they would be willing to offer free of charge to support us. Some examples of the skills that we are especially keen to find are below but please get in touch if you have other skills you would like to volunteer
- Video and film making
- Photography to help us build a bank of images we can use
- Art/graphic design for producing leaflets, posters, Christmas cards etc
- Writing press releases and general media skills
- Research and evaluation skills / statistics
- Support writing funding applications
From time to time we might ask for volunteers with other specific skills so look out for these requests on our website, Facebook and Twitter! If you offer a specific skill that we can’t currently use, we will ask permission to keep your details on a database so we can get back in touch in the future if new opportunities arise.
If you have an idea or would like to offer some time or a specific skill or just for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
When you email we will try and direct your email towards the most appropriate people, this might be your local peer support project or volunteers or it might be someone within the central team. As with most charities we find that we are all very busy so please be patient, we appreciate every offer of support and will get back to you as soon as we can.