This is a hard blog to write as its contents will detail changes to how the sling library will be operating but sometimes hard decisions are the right one.
In June 2016, I wrote to say that I was returning to work. The changes that post revealed were relatively small, we were able to maintain almost all of the sessions we offered. This was due to the fact I was working part-time and that Madeleine and Kelly took over sessions. Unfortunately, Durham City Sling Meet stopped meeting in 2017 but Madeleine has taken our North Tyneside sessions from strength to strength.
If I am so happy with the direct the library is taking, why am I sad (and nervous)? Well, as of 28th February, I am returning to work on a full-time basis. This is the right decision for my family but it does mean that the library is going to have to reduce what it can offer. I am honestly sorry for the short notice but until recently I didn’t even know I would be making this decision.
With immediate effect, the monthly session we hold at the Consett Tesco Community Room is cancelled. I have already emailed families with a sling due back to this session to explain and discuss options for returning the slings they have on loan. So far, the response I have received both from the Community Champion from Tesco and the families affected has been 100% positive.
Our North Tyneside sessions (Killingworth, North Shields and Howdon) are unaffected by these changes, as are the Saturday Slings sessions which run from my home on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month – there are a couple of alterations to these for family holidays/Blaydon Races/GNR weekend but these are minor (and several weeks will be notice given). Postal hire will continue to be made available across the NE and the UK as a whole.
Our travelling sessions at Miss Tina’s in Washington, and the latest addition to our meets, at The Thought Foundation are continuing until at least the Summer. However, these will be led by a trained Peer Supporter (Emma) and as such will not be for complex needs (low birth weight, prematurity, multiples, additional needs etc), although you are welcome to go along to get an idea of what is available. We will update you in the Summer with whether they will be able to continue beyond this point.
We will still be offering Babywearing Consultation appointments and Born to Carry Peer support training. One to one consultation appointments can be arranged with myself (school holidays), Suzie and Madeline via our booking site or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the contact form below.
Since I founded NESL in 2011, I have only ever wanted to help the NE to carry their babies, so returning to full-time employment is a very big step for me. Even though we are reducing the sessions we offer (and thus initially streamlining the number of slings stock slightly – removing duplicates of some slings), our commitment to helping parents to carry their children remains and we will continue to invest in stock and training. For example, the new Minimonkey Twin sling will be joining library shelves in the coming days and I am completing the JPMBB consultancy course in April.
Best wishes and thank you for your understanding.