The role of volunteers in a Baby Café drop-in centre
Mother-to-mother support is a key element of the Baby Café model of care, with skilled one-to-one help available for those who need it.
Our national audit for 2009 revealed that 34% of Baby Café staff were working on a voluntary basis. Trained breastfeeding supporters, leaders, counsellors, peer supporters and interested mothers are currently involved in Baby Café centres in a number of ways.
- Supporting the Baby Café informally by attending as a breastfeeding mother and chatting to other mothers about their experiences.
- Volunteer mother supporter – helping with organisational aspects, setting out room, welcoming mothers, refreshments, chatting to mothers informally. No formal breastfeeding training needed and probably has her own child with her.
- Trained peer supporter – providing skilled breastfeeding help and information as a volunteer, under the supervision of a health professional.
- Trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellor providing skilled breastfeeding help and information as a volunteer under the supervision of a health professional.
The Baby Café Local project nows enables trained breastfeeding counsellors to facilitate a Baby Café, either in a paid role or as a volunteer.