SERC on board for Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) has joined the Public Health Agency’s (PHA) Breast Feeding Welcome Here scheme across all College campuses.

The initiative, which aims to provide supportive environments for breastfeeding mothers, was brought to the attention of the college’s Students’ Union by a mature student.

Rochelle Mcauley, an adult returner on the Foundation Diploma in Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies, said, “It seemed obvious to me that the college would be interested in the scheme, so I contacted the Students’ Union and suggested the college might get involved. I am delighted they felt the same way, and the scheme is now being rolled out across college campuses."

Rochelle, the mother of two boys and a Breast Feeding Friend (BFF) volunteers within the South Eastern HSC Trust’s Breastfeeding Peer Support Service added, “We have so many people coming into the college for open days or events, popping in for a coffee or a meeting. I think it is really important that they see the signs and that breastfeeding is accepted as something natural and wonderful, and welcome in the college which is an important part of the wider community.”

(L - R) Heather McKee, Director of Strategic Planning, Quality & Support, SERC; Rochelle Mcauley, adult returner on the Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies; Carrie Crossan, Health and Wellbeing Improvement Officer for Public Health Agency; and Jacqui Henning, Breastfeeding Project Lead, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

Dr Hannah Dearie, Senior Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer with PHA, said, “The Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme is an initiative that aims to provide supportive environments for mothers to breastfeed when they’re out and about, particularly those who may feel reticent. The scheme, which dates from 2005, is there to reassure women who want to breastfeed that there are businesses and organisations out there who have taken proactive steps to welcome breastfeeding mothers and show solidarity with them.

“Any business which is open to the general public is eligible to join the scheme, which currently includes more than 800 cafes, restaurants, shops, council facilities, universities, tourist attractions and other public and private sector venues across Northern Ireland. We are delighted to have SERC as a member of the scheme and believe that this will support breastfeeding mothers to continue breastfeeding for longer.”

Mums can check participating businesses according to their postcode, you can visit the website at www.breastfedbabies.org.