Expansions, closures, new additions and new names.
I've been thinking recently about the direction to take this little venture in order to reach as many parents as possible. That's part of the reason why I took the decision this week to cease working out of Godalming. The Connecta Boutique serves the town very well and Guildford Sling Library easily picks up those on the outskirts. I shall miss the group I worked with as they were so kind and accommodating, but I also need to admit defeat where necessary!
So that leaves me with other areas of West Surrey to look at. I have a definite area when it comes to consultation work. My patch. And a major part of that is the areas surrounding Camberley and Farnham. Camberley is well served by my sling meet at Frimley Lodge Park, so I have now renamed that group "Camberley Sling Meet". Because in all honesty I think that will show up better in Google searches and lets people know that we're serving that area. And we're not just a sling library. It's a really nice, friendly group too. We have toys for the toddlers (and a huge park to unleash them on in nicer weather), we have the Natural Nippers pop-up shop, run by Jen who is also a cloth nappy adviser and librarian. We have refreshments, served by the very welcoming Steph. And we have a group of like-minded regulars who come most weeks for a chat over a hot brew.
Farnham is trickier, as they have an NCT library already running and I'm keen not to tread on any toes. But I still think there's room for a more general group catering for parents who are interested in the less "mainstream" side of parenting. Not just babywearing and cloth nappies but breastfeeding, gentle parenting techniques etc. A place where toddlers can safely play whilst you have a hot cuppa and speak to a baby carrying consultant or breastfeeding counsellor. Where babywearing or clothbumming mums can chat together whilst breast or bottle feeding without fear of judgement. (I realise this sounds like the motivational speech that changes the whole course of the movie, by the way, but it's good to have vision!) So we're in the process of checking out some locations and working out the "how, where, when" but we'll keep you updated.
In other news, earlier this month Jen and Steph attended a Born To Carry peer supporter course so they're now officially certified and can help out with the library! Which they did before to be fair, just unofficially. But to have expanded from just being me to being a team of three seems like progress! Congratulations to Jen and Steph, and a big thank you from me also for being the glue that holds it all (and me...) together.