Northamptonshire charity which helps parents form bonds with their babies announces closure due to lack of funding

The charity has struggled financially during the last 12 months due to lack of central or local Government funding

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 11:28 am
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 11:30 am

A Northamptonshire parent and baby charity which works with new families to help them form a bond has announced its closure.

Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership (NorPIP) was founded in 2011 by Andrea Leadsom MP and has worked with hundreds of parents at both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals.

After a difficult year during the pandemic as funding became under immense pressure, the charity has announced that it will, sadly, cease activity by June 30 this year.

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Andrea Leadsom speaking about NorPIP with Iain Duncan Smith in 2012. (File picture).

Although the charity will close, staff want to assure parents that they will still be able to access antenatal and perinatal support via other associated organisations.

Chairman of the charity’s board, Chris Lofts, said: “It is with great regret that the Board of Trustees has reached the conclusion that due to a lack of income the Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership, NorPIP, will cease all activity by June 30, 2021.

“The charity has operated for ten years and has helped hundreds of parents to overcome anxiety, depression, postnatal depression, perinatal psychosis and other issues to establish great relationships with their children to get them off to the best start in life.

“The charity has always been reliant on grants and donations from a variety of organisations, individuals and the public.

“Unfortunately, the past year has seen these sources of funding under great pressure and we have not been able to raise sufficient income to continue.

“It is particularly disappointing that neither central or local government bodies have supported our work as we believe our services prevent many long-term health issues in both parents and their babies.

“The Board of Trustees wish to thank all those who have supported us in the past and we hope that future parents manage to find support and advice they may need from other local bodies.

“We also thank our hard working and dedicated staff that we know feel deeply about our service and the changes we see in our clients during their journey with us.”

The chairman went on to assure parents that they will still be able to access antenatal education and perinatal support programmes via Family Action and Engage Antenatal, which will continue to run as normal, as will elements of the Flourishing Babies Service, which will also continue.

Charmaine Church, Flourishing Babies operational manager for Family Action added: “We are deeply saddened by the closure of NorPIP.

“Having worked closely with this organisation over the past four years, we know how much they have helped new parents with their parent infant therapeutic work.

“They will be sorely missed in the field of Maternal Mental Health.

“However, we would like to assure parents in Northampton and Kettering that Flourishing Babies is still here to provide emotional and practical support from pregnancy until your child is aged two.”

Lucy Dolly, director of Engage Antenatal continued: “Whilst we are disappointed and saddened by the closure of NorPIP, we will continue to support and grow the Flourishing Babies project to ensure as many parents as possible receive the care and support desperately needed during the antenatal and postnatal journey.”

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