Claire is cycling 1300 km across the Karakoram Highway from China to Pakistan. She is fundraising for Solace to enable them to train and recruit x4 peer supporters, to support pregnant women and new mums facing social adversity and isolation.
For some women their journey through pregnancy, birth and the initial postnatal period, is shaped by high levels of social adversity, trauma and isolation.
Solace (Solace Peer Support CIC) is a social enterprise, that believes that basic social support can make an enormous difference to the most vulnerable families. Solace provides holistic peer support; befriending support during pregnancy and the initial postnatal period, in addition to birth partner support. Liaising with other organisations in the community, helps to support women to build a wider support network and access practical resources.
Peer supporters receive intensive training- that has been designed based on lived experiences from women with experiences of social adversity during pregnancy. Similarly, the design and implementation of support provision has been developed based on insights from lived experience.
Giving your child the best start to life, can be very difficult when facing the stress of homelessness/poor housing, extreme poverty and a range of other social challenges. Having to 'go without' the basics during pregnancy and the initial postnatal period; can impact in across all aspects of life, both short and long term.
Trauma from experiences of abuse, violence and exploitation, whether current or historic, can present further challenges to pregnant women, facing social adversity.
Women in the UK are able to access multi agency support from health and social care professionals. These relationships are crucial in determining the best outcomes for women and their families.
The peer support role is about the wider social support helping to reduce the isolation and stress experienced by the most marginalised women; helping to promote the best outcomes for them and their families.