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Helen Hunt (Co-Founder) is a qualified antenatal teacher (DipHE) and local midwife. 

This enables her to bring all of her day to day (and night to night!) insider knowledge of what actually happens within maternity services, throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatally!

At Becoming Families, Helen helps to create and develop services and delivers anenatal classes.

She and Jo met when they were training to be educators and set up their former organisation (Birth Choices Worcestershire) back in 2012.

Helen lives in Pershore and has two teenage children.

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Jo Lederer (Co-Founder) is a qualified antenatal teacher and transition to parenthood practitioner (DipHE) with several years' experience teaching antenatal and postnatal courses and supporting local mums and dads as they become parents.

She has a BA (Hons) in Psychology & Sociology and has undertaken further training and continuing professional development (see below) in infant development and maternal and infant mental health.

 

She has previously worked as a postnatal wellbeing support worker within Early Help.

As part of her commitment to safe practice, Jo receives regular clinical supervision for her work within Becoming Families.

Jo is a mum of 3 and lives in Worcester.

A photo of Jo Lederer, she's wearing glasses, has a pierced nose, and a welcoming smile.

Cathy Green has been a qualified antenatal teacher (DipHE) for many years and an experienced midwife working in a birth centre and homebirth team.

 

She is also a qualified Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner. This therapy provides relief from the symptoms of birth trauma in as little as one to two sessions.

 

Cathy is passionate about supporting women and their families to have a positive and empowering experience of pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period.

 

She is a mum to two university aged daughters and lives in Worcester

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Lynn Ratcliffe has been teaching parents-to-be with the NCT, Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Trust and Becoming Families for the last 10 years.

 

Lynn is also a qualified yoga teacher.

 

She is passionate about helping parents to explore their ideas and to get the birth they want and absolutely loves facilitating groups on their journey to parenthood.

 

Lynn has 3 children, lives in Evesham and works part time for the NHS in Worcestershire providing breastfeedinng support in the community.

Maxine Downes became a qualified antenatal practitioner after studying a Birth and Beyond course for two years through the University of Worcester. Prior to this she qualified as an adult nurse (BNurse)Hons and worked for many years in the operating theatres in the UK and Australia.

After having her first baby she found her passion had moved away from clinical nursing and lay in supporting others through the antenatal and early parenthood transition.

The desire to support parents on their journey initially started by volunteering as a breastfeeding peer supporter, then through volunteering for the NCT in the Worcester and Droitwich branch and finally facilitating her own antenatal classes once qualified.

She is a mum of two and lives in Stourport-on-Severn.   

A photograph of Maxine Downes, she's got a plait across her forehead and is smiling.

Hannah Alhais has been a qualified yoga teacher since 2019, and really believes yoga is beneficial for both physical and mental health.  

 

After having her first baby, she decided that she would like to train in pregnancy and post natal yoga.

 

She has studied pre and post natal yoga with Birthlight Yoga and also taken a course in yoga for perinatal mental health.

 

Hannah is passionate about ensuring expectant and new mothers get some time out for themselves and to connect with their baby through her yoga classes as well as the opportunity to meet and build a support network with others.

 

Alongside her yoga, Hannah is an experienced physiotherapist, now working for the NHS in Worcester. She has worked in a number of NHS, private and sports settings.

 

Hannah has two very young children and lives in Droitwich.

A  photograph of Hannal Alhais, she's outside beside a tree and is smiling
A photograph of Fay, wearing red glasses and a red sweater in a pumpkin patch, smiling at the camera.

Faye is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist with a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Counselling Psychology. She specialises in trauma and has a keen interest in attachment and family relationships.

 

She has worked across a number of settings including Black Country Women's Aid, in schools with young people and in private practice. Before qualifying, she worked for Birmingham Children's Hospital as a support worker.

 

Faye is excited to be volunteering with Becoming Families as she felt safe and supported by them during her own pregnancy and postnatal journeys.

Faye has two boys and lives in Droitwich.

A  photograph of Debbie, she's hugging her son and there are camels in the background.

Debbie is currently the Peer Support Worker within the Worcestershire Perinatal Mental Health Team.

 

A Perinatal Peer Support Worker

complements the work of specialist mental health services by offering a more holistic approach.

 

It works flexibly to adapt to the needs of the mum and her family. 

 

A peer support worker brings a knowledge of local resources to improve social engagement and be able to use their own lived experience to facilitate a recovery-focussed approach to managing maternal mental ill health.

Debbie is another wonderful volunteer, supporting our postnatal emotional wellbeing group.

Debbie also lives locally and has one son.

Alice

 

I’m a volunteer for Becoming Families who looks after everything Birth Pool hire related. I am a Mum to a 6 and 3 year old, and wife to my soulmate, Callam.

 

I have been involved with Maternity services within Worcestershire for nearly eight years, working clinically as a Maternity Support Worker and as a representative for Maternity Voices Partnership. With my combined experiences I can wholesomely say I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting families in their transition into parenthood and beyond, and enabling positive changes to the service over the years. 

 

My experience of Maternity services is currently growing as I embark on my Student Midwife journey, I started the course back in February 2023 and have just completed my first block of placement - I can finally say I am following my dreams!

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Georgia

 

University qualified antenatal practitioner (Perinatal Education and Practice) Georgia joined our team with 10 years' experience working with infants and under 5's providing family support and running her own early years setting.

 

After the birth of her own daughter, Georgia's own passion for supporting families, particularly through the transition to parenthood continued to grow. 

 

Georgia joins the team as an antenatal teacher and will be expanding her knowledge and experience through baby massage and postnatal support qualifications.

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Dot

 

Dot Parry is a qualified antenatal teacher and tutor (DipHE and BA). Dot has been supporting families and fellow antenatal teachers for many years.

 

Having attended an antenatal course prior to the birth of her second child, Dot recognised the power of knowledge and of parent-to-parent support. She volunteered in her community for many years and went on to train to be an antenatal teacher so that she could pass on the wisdom and kindness her teacher gave to her. She has a passion for helping parents to increase their confidence as they approach birth and parenthood.

 

Dot is also a former midwife with experience in hospital and community-based care. She has supported parents giving birth at home and in birth centres, as well as supporting parents receiving more complex care and those giving birth by caesarean.

 

Originally from Manchester, Dot moved to Worcester in 2023. She enjoys spending time with her four children and two granddaughters. 

Jo's Qualifications and Training

Currently studying MSc Perinatal Mental Health, Sheffield Hallam University

BA(Hons) Psychology & Sociology  The University of Sheffield

Dip(HE) Antenatal Education/Transition to Parenthood  The University of Bedfordshire

Certified Birthlight Teacher in Yoga for Maternity

Certificate of Training in Nurturing Baby Massage, Birthlight

Certificate of Training in Birth Preparation, Birthlight 

NVQ3 Children's Care, Learning and Development

Infant Mental Health Online Certificate Warwick Medical School

Infant Mental Health and Development Foundation Program The Wonder Weeks Academy

Maternal Mental Health E-learning Institute of Health Visiting

Postnatal Depression Training (level 4) Be Ready to Parent

Counselling Skills for Non-counsellors (level 3) Relate

Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby SANDS training

Pregnancy and Infant Loss: the Ultimate Bereavement The Foundation for Infant Loss

Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Institute of Counselling

Attachment Theory OXPIP

Watch, Wait and Wonder OXPIP

Emotional Regulation in Pregnancy OXPIP

Assessing Parent Infant Relationships OXPIP

Ghosts in the Nursery OXPIP

Brazelton Newborn Behavioural Observation Practitioner, The Brazelton Institute

ITSIEY: Early Intervention Skills to Enhance Parent-Infant Relationships Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust 

Parent-Infant Group Work Module 1 OXPIP

Helen's Qualifications and Training

BSc(Hons) Midwifery The University of Worcester

Dip(HE) Antenatal Education/Transition to Parenthood  The University of Bedfordshire

Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby SANDS training

Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding Children

Adult and Neonatal Life Support

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