How it works
Beyond Birth Living Library is a peer support programme. It aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of parents by facilitating an introduction and one-to-one contact between people who have lived through similar experiences.
A Living Library uses the concept of ‘living books’ – people with lived experience, working with ‘readers’ – people currently going through similar experiences, to help make sense of what they are going through.
A peer-to-peer programme can answer questions and offer support to help those on their journey through parenthood. It fills a gap that the medical model of postnatal care cannot always provide for.
This programme has been designed and developed with parents, grandparents, and health and care professionals.
All team members who support the day-to-day running of the project are volunteers. Chelsea and Westminster NHS hospital staff volunteer their free time to provide this service.
Receive support from a parent and from the Beyond Birth Living Library team, for free.
You will be:
Matched with a parent (or ‘living book’) who has had a similar birth experience to yours and can support you through your journey and answer your questions (All 'living books' have been through the NHS volunteer vetting process)
Offered weekly phone/virtual meetings of up to 40min together for a period of 4 to 6 weeks (requests for longer periods may be considered)
Supported to identify other resources that may be helpful to you
Part of a friendly community of like-minded people
You will support parents, and we will support you.
We will provide:
Help to go through the NHS volunteer vetting process, which includes an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services check
An online introductory programme, which includes a resource pack, an introduction session and 4 NHS learning modules
Regular support from the team, including through team debriefs and 1:1 meetings
An option to develop new skills, such as quality improvement work in healthcare
A reference (after six months as a peer supporter)
A friendly community of like-minded people