I’m Jenny Hicks and I qualified as an NCT Postnatal Group Facilitator in November 2009 after completing an NCT diploma accredited by the University of Bedfordshire. In this role, I run Postnatal 'Early Days' courses for new parents, helping them to settle into their new role with confidence and giving them a chance to explore many issues affecting them in the early days. I also run Introducing Solids workshops and from autumn 2012, the exciting new NCT postnatal exercise programme, 'Relax and Stretch with Baby'.
I find this work really satisfying, seeing parents growing in confidence and watching the babies develop and thrive. In today's world, there are many pressures on new parents and it is so valuable for them to have this time and space to explore issues, to discuss things in a safe environment and make really good friends and strong support networks which I see continuing into the years ahead.
Since having my first daughter, I have been involved in the branch as a volunteer in many ways; setting up a postnatal drop-in group, helping to run events, (including Nearly New Sales, under 5s parties and events for parents) and also editing the local branch newsletter. Volunteering for NCT has been great. I’ve made loads of good friends and volunteering is very rewarding in many ways. I’m always thrilled to see people who I met while they were expecting their first baby, when they come back to events with their baby or child, or now return with their second or even third child!
Before having my own daughters (Ellie and Becca, born in 2005 and 2008), my qualifications and experience were in childcare, so with my own family the NCT training seemed like the perfect step for me. I hold an Norland Diploma, NNEB Diploma and NVQ III in Childcare and Education. I have worked in a wide range of settings: as a nanny to a number of families, in day nurseries and school nursery classes, at a community project supporting families and young children, as a support worker and tutor for the Pre-school Learning Alliance and more. I’ve been able to can combine these experiences with my experience as a mother and my passion for supporting new families. Becoming a mother myself, I began to see what a difference good support in the early days can make and I love to see new parents growing in confidence and enjoying their new babies. I now enjoy combining all these skills to offer support and information to parents of new babies.
I am also a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, with experience leading breastfeeding support groups, leading antenatal sessions and working 1:1 with Mums. Elsewhere, I also facilitate Mum and Baby groups and Introducing Solids workshops for several Children's Centres in Kent
My aim in all these sessions is to offer support and up-to-date information to new parents, and enable them to make the right choices for their families. Groups are relaxed and informal, following the needs and interests of the group.