The word has been spreading about the Mothers’ Support Group (MSG) and we’re keen for it to spread even further.

Since reviving the meetings last October, the numbers of women attending the sessions has risen to 11 with a regular nine returning every week.

Once lonely and isolated, several of the women now feel so much more confident that they also attend a free Zumba class to get some rigorous exercise before coming along to the group for a cup of coffee and a chat.

Dee Hamilton, the group’s session worker, said: “The Mothers’ Support Group is a place for women to meet that offers a safe environment for them to talk and make new friends. Some mothers have been lonely and needed coaxing out of their houses for just a couple of hours a week. Now they look forward to coming here, to meet more women like themselves in their local community.”

Before Christmas, the group came together bringing their cultural dishes with them. They brought Fuul, a Middle Eastern dish made from fava beans; baba ghanoush, Lebonese flat bread and Turkish tea to share with each other.

At the end of February they will begin a five week sewing workshop, provided by Westminster Adult Education, learning the skills of cross stitching, crocheting and knitting; the group is discussing taking a day trip to Kew Gardens when the weather gets better, and they’re also keen to organise healthy cooking classes as the meeting room has a small kitchen attached.

“The support group is really bringing these women out of themselves,” said Dee, “and we are continuing to encourage even more women to attend.”

One of the mother’s has a friend who did not like to leave the house, other than to take her children to school. She persuaded her to attend and now her friend really looks forward to coming.

“I recognised she was just like me once. I didn’t want to leave the house either. There was nowhere for me to go that I could afford and no one for me to go out with. Now, I attend the group and I go swimming, as the group showed me how to apply for an Active Westminster card, which gives residents discounts on fitness and activities in the local area. These days I feel much more confident and certainly less alone.”

The Mothers’ Support Group is held at Derry Hall on the Church Street Estate every Wednesday 10am – 12pm. Westminster Befriend a Family welcomes any donations to enable us to expand the service and support even more vulnerable and isolated mothers. Visit our donations page.