Mums in our Happy Baby Project have survived some of the humanity’s worst atrocities, including years of repeated physical and sexual violence, and have endured long, dangerous journeys to seek safety in the UK. All they want is to give their children a better life. A life free from violence and abuse. Sadly, as asylum seekers and refugees, these young families have never before been so unkindly viewed.
Often forced to live in desperately poor conditions, sharing a tiny room with a single bed, isolated in an unfamiliar country and exposed to overwhelming negativity, these young families struggle with unbearable loneliness and despair. The Happy Baby Project was set up by the Helen Bamber Foundation three years ago to help mums through the most difficult of times. Starting as a small group of five scared and lonely women and children, the Happy Baby Project now welcomes more than 70 mums and their children every week.
In 2014, The Helen Bamber Foundation established a Happy Baby Project to support these new and expectant mothers. The group provides a safe, happy place for mums to meet and children to play. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, without family or friends to support them, the Happy Baby Project is the only place for many mums struggling to confront and overcome their experiences of torture and human cruelty to feel safe and make new friendships.
The Happy Baby Project also provides the opportunity for expectant and new mums, many who are living in poverty as refugees and asylum seekers, to get practical support from midwives, housing and welfare experts, support accessing important health and well-being activities including specialist yoga, English lessons and swimming sessions. The group is run entirely by dedicated volunteers.