‘Community Mothers’ project launched

Paul Healy


Boyle and Ballaghaderreen Family Resource Centres are launching a very exciting and innovative new programme which your locally-owned community newspaper, the Roscommon People, is delighted to share information on!

The ‘Community Mothers’ project means that families in Boyle and Ballaghaderreen areas now have the option of having a trained ‘Community Mother’ visit their home to offer support as they raise their children.

The Community Mothers Programme is a free home visiting service offered to families of new babies and parents of children up to the age of five.

Community Mothers are volunteers who are trained by the Community Mothers Coordinators and a Public Health Nurse. They use their own experiences as mothers as well as local knowledge to support and encourage new parents. The Community Mother visits parents in their home to offer support and encouragement (all Covid-19 regulations are of course adhered to).

The ethos is to listen and be non-judgemental, building trust and strong relationships to improve the wellbeing of parents and the developmental and learning outcomes of their children.

Local Family Resource Centres have many services that enrich the community. Programmes for parents include Breastfeeding Club, Parent-Toddler Groups, Bazz Art for Toddlers, Common-Sense Parenting, Mindful Parenting and Baby and Me. These resource centres also offer family support drop-in clinics as well as counselling and psychotherapy and many other programmes for adults.

Boyle and Ballaghaderreen Family Resource centres now have two part-time Community Mothers’ Coordinators. They are Marie Shivnen in Boyle and Colette Saunders in Ballaghaderreen.

To become a volunteer, you need to be an experienced mother who wants to help other parents in their community to improve their wellbeing and improve outcomes for their young children. The commitment from the Community Mother is one hour weekly pre-birth to six months or one hour monthly from six months to five years. All enquiries on any of the above to Marie Shivnen on 086 059 7447 or Colette Saunders on 086 059 7441.

* The Community Mothers Initiative in Roscommon is being made possible with funding from Healthy Ireland, which is administered by Roscommon Children and Young People’s Services Committee.