Hackney perinatal befriending service set to close without funding

A new born baby grasps the thumb of her mother

A new born baby grasps the thumb of her mother - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A befriending service for pregnant women and new mums battling depression is facing closure unless it can secure funding.

The Family Action Perinatal Service has been running in Hackney for six years, supporting babies, mums, families and volunteers through Big Lottery Grant-funded work.

But that funding is set to stop, and as it stands the service will close in June.

David Holmes CBE, chief executive of Family Action – part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) – has pleaded for backers ahead of World Maternal Mental Health Day on Wednesday.

He said: “Without alternative funding the service will come to an end in June of this year and we will not longer be able to deliver this specialist work for mothers challenged by perinatal depression. However, we are continuing to seek alternative funds.”

The MMHA reports 1 in 10 women develop a mental health illness during pregnancy or in the first postnatal year and the statistics for fathers are on the rise.