The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is the UK’s largest charity for parents, providing valuable information, training and support networks. The Chiltern branch supports families and parents-to-be in and around the areas of Chesham, Prestwood, Great Missenden, Amersham, Little Chalfont, Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Gerrards Cross and Denham. Emma took on the volunteer post of publicity officer for the branch in February after first getting involved with the NCT through their hugely popular antenatal course. Emma has recently gone back to work following maternity leave.
Family members; Husband David, Theo – 1
Current job; I’ve recently returned to work as a business manager within Guardian News & Media, where I head up a sales team working with the voluntary sector.
Sum up your role for the NCT in a sentence: I’m responsible for publicising branch activity and events to our members and the wider local community of parents with young children.
Why did you get involved with the NCT? I had a great experience on my NCT antenatal course, meeting a fantastic group of people who have all become good friends. Once Theo came along I also really enjoyed attending the weekly Bumps and Babies session (every Thursday 10-11.30am in Little Chalfont Village Hall) and met more local Mums. One of my friends who helped run the group at the time told me that the local branch needed new volunteers. At the time Theo was six months old and I’d reached the stage where I was ready to get involved in something new. For a long time I’d wanted to volunteer for a local organisation but the right opportunity hadn’t come along until now.
The best part of your volunteer role? Working with a great bunch of people who all want to raise lots of money to help support local parents.
And the worst? To be honest there aren’t any negative elements to the role. Obviously returning to work means I’m going to need to juggle a bit more but I think all us Mums are used to that aren’t they?
How do you juggle volunteering for the NCT and family life? Being organised and not leaving anything to the last minute. The busiest time in my role is the six weeks leading up to a sale when all the promotional materials and adverts need to be sorted. Funnily enough my first sale has coincided with my return to work! However an I-phone is a wonderful thing, so I’ll update our Facebook page and Twitter feed on the commute into town. Strangely enough I’ve had more spare time for my NCT commitments since I’ve come back to work as I have a lunch break again! I’m also very lucky in that my husband has gone part time to help look after Theo and that makes it a lot easier for us as a family to balance work and home commitments.
What do you get out of volunteering? Making new local friends and working as part of a great team to fundraise. I’ve benefited so much from my NCT antenatal course that I wanted to ensure our local branch continues to thrive and support other new parents and families in the area.
What challenges have you faced? Nothing major so far, just getting to grips with all the publicity needed to promote the next nearly new sale.
Your biggest success? I’m hoping that the October Nearly New Sale will be our biggest success of 2013. It’s such an important fundraiser for both the branch and the NCT nationally that we are all committed to make it our best yet! So as we’re not in October yet I’d say that our Cheeky Monkey Tea Party has been the big success to date, raising over £300 which I believe was the highest figure raised in a few years. On a personal level I was really pleased to secure a number of prizes from local businesses for the raffle and have to say thank you to Chiltern Chatter for your support here.
Why should people become involved with the NCT? For many parents the NCT is synonymous with antenatal courses and 1,001 coffee mornings, but whilst that is all good stuff it’s worth knowing that since 1956 the charity has campaigned successfully on issues such as; allowing fathers into the delivery room, the banning of BPA plastics in baby bottles and maternity/paternity rights. I’m proud to work for an organization that has both a national and local voice, enabling it to shout about the big issues as well as supporting new parents in the local area.
Upcoming events: Nearly New Sale – 5th October 2013, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham. Bumps & Babies – every Thursday, 10-11.30am, Little Chalfont Village Hall.
Please like the Chiltern NCT Facebook page for regular updates on upcoming events or if you like Twitter follow us @ChilternNCT
What are you listening to at the moment? Since giving birth to a 90’s dance track I’ve gone all nostalgic for my youth and currently enjoying some Pulp.
What’s your favourite tipple? A good Zinfandel or glass of bubbles – not fussy
Your simple pleasure? An episode of Modern Family and a scrummy TV dinner!
Favourite film? Ghostbusters is hard to beat but Sideways is amazing
Favourite book? Classic would be 1984, but recently loved Gone Girl
Tell us a joke? I’m totally rubbish with jokes and never remember them. I did love Sue’s Crème Patissiere/’Custardy’ joke on Bake off the other night though.