NCT group nominated for two top awards

A SUCCESSFUL baby and toddler group has been shortlisted for a prestigious award – and they have also moved to a much bigger hall.

The Dunmow and Braintree branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has been shortlisted for two categories in the NCT Stars Awards – Bumps and Babies Group of the Year and Communication of the Year – which take place next Wednesday at the House of Lords.

Chairman Mel Sims has worked to expand the branch’s weekly group, which provides a friendly support network for parents, including regular activity tasters from local companies.

Her creative approach to communications has included setting up an interactive Facebook page, as well as spreading the word through more traditional newsletters and posters.

“I am delighted to be shortlisted for this award. It means a lot to be recognised for the work I’ve done,” she said.

“I have met such an amazing group of people who are all so grateful for offering them a community of friends and advice.”

The group has become so popular that it has moved from Stebbing to Flicth Green Community Centre.

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“There are 750 homes in Flitch Green and one in six, at least, have young children. The first group here attracted 65 mums,” said Miss Sims.

“Lots more people have joined the Facebook group as well since moving to the community centre.

“However, as we have moved we need donations of toys and mats for preschoolers as the toys belonged to the previous hall, so if you have anything our mums would be grateful.”

Each session costs �2 per family with members and non-members welcome. It runs from 10am-12pm. Car parking, baby changing facilities and an outdoor playground are available.

To donate any toys contact Miss Sims on 07796 135165 or check the Facebook group.