"Smile has grown from small beginnings into a well-established, respected charity. We have an incredible team and an appetite for sustainable growth"
Cheshire-based perinatal mental health charity, Smile Group, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Mother’s Day this year.
The charity was founded by Ruth Williams and Natalie Nuttall who both had experience of postnatal depression and saw a glaring gap in community support.
Smile offers peer support, talk therapy, 1-1 services and family sessions in Macclesfield, Congleton and Sandbach for parents facing emotional challenges in pregnancy and the postnatal period. This year sees the expansion of services to Nantwich thanks to grant funding from Cheadle Royal Hospital (CRH) Charitable Trust.
Having adapted its services throughout the pandemic restrictions to offer virtual support as well as wellbeing walks, Smile Group supported more than 200 parents in 2020 and is embedded in the clinical landscape to enable integrated care for families when they are at their most vulnerable.
Last year also saw Smile become part of The Hearts and Minds Partnership, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, alongside fellow perinatal mental health charities, Acacia Family Support (West Midlands) and Bluebell Care (South West). This three-year programme aims to support and connect grassroots perinatal mental health services across England.
While Smile is supported by grant funding, it is an independent organisation reliant on fundraising, regular giving and business partnerships in order to remain sustainable. With up to 1 in 5 women affected by perinatal mental health challenges, the charity is addressing a clear need in the local communities it serves.
Commenting on the milestone, Ruth said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating a decade of Smile Group. We’ve come so far since Natalie and I first set the wheels in motion in 2011. We’re proud to be featured in the Royal College of GPs’ Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit and to be rooted in our local communities.
I know that if a charity like Smile had been around when I had my daughter in 2010 I probably wouldn’t have felt as lonely and unwell as I was. It’s so important to create trusted spaces for honest conversations.”
Chair of Smile Group and former Perinatal Psychiatrist Tania Stanway added: “Smile has grown from very small beginnings into a well-established, respected charity. We have an incredible team and an appetite for sustainable growth. This year has been so challenging for new parents and we have worked really hard to adapt and respond to ensure continued support has been available.”
Smile will be hosting a series of virtual and face-to-face events (Covid restrictions permitted) in celebration of its anniversary this year and is set to launch its new website later this month. For enquiries and further information contact email@example.com