THIS week, we’re shouting about a community group in Lawn that has given lonely new mothers a welcome safety cushion of support and friendship during that difficult time of becoming a new parent.

The Kiddy Cafe allows youngsters a chance to play safely for a few hours while mums putt their feet up and have a cheap cuppa at the Lawn Community Centre on Guildford Avenue.

The play group is run as a café which helps babies and parents alike meet new people and make friends, which is particularly handy for those who have just moved to the area.

Mandie Pook launched it last year and has seen it become more and more popular over the last few months. She said: “I started a Tuesday morning club when my daughter Chloe was seven months pregnant because it can be lonely for first-time mums, especially if they’ve moved to a new area where they don’t know anyone.

“We wanted to make a group where new parents could meet people in the same situation as them and get support, advice and friendship for themselves and their children.

“It’s not just for people in Lawns, we get people from all over Swindon here, and it’s grown more than I expected, to the point where we host an extra session on Fridays now.

“Nobody is left out here. The parents make friends with other parents and older residents who want to socialise and get out of the house for a bit come over to read to the kids, which is really nice to see. I’ve got no children of my own so I volunteer here and help the other mums set it all up, everyone mucks in, my mum comes down from Cricklade sometimes to join us.

“There’s no subscription, it’s all free and easy, just turn up if you want to on any week that you feel like it.

“We’re so glad that it’s been this successful, parents have said it’s really reassuring for them to have this group available. We’ve got plenty of events for young and older siblings during the Easter break, too.”

Mandie wanted to thank the Walcot Community Centre for their help and generous £100 donations – one went towards a Shake Rattle and Roll session and the other went to a first aid training course for the mothers who attend the twice-weekly groups.

The Kiddie Cafe meets on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 1pm at Lawn Community Centre. Entry is free but the coffee is not. Email for more information,

Is there something about Swindon that you want to shout about? It could be a well-known charity, an under-appreciated community group, a kind-hearted resident that helps out around town, it could be anything and anyone who makes a positive difference to the lives of people in Swindon and deserves a bit of time in the spotlight.

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