We always seek to improve what we offer to all our families at Mummy’s Star and this has became even more important this year when we entered the Covid lockdown and indeed in the months that have passed since.
Our support needed to adapt in the changing times but this needed to be led from the feedback of our families. So we have used the time this year to seek that, reflect on what we’ve already achieved, what we did well, where we could have improved and just as importantly where, in some cases we perhaps let some down.
We have written to hundreds of our families this year both when the Covid outbreak began, to reassure them we were here as and when they needed us and again later in the year and we are really pleased that so many have responded to us.
‘So much emotional support at some really tough points I felt so much pain and despair and Rebecca was just incredible listening to me. She was genuinely there for me. I felt cared for and understood. I could express my hurt securely and felt that I would discuss all my fears. It wasn’t too much.'
‘Just being there, checking in periodically was a great emotional support. I know if I need anything at all Mummy’s Star is there.’
‘I think Mummy’s Star is an excellent support. For me the grant was fantastic to cover travelling costs and the Mummy’s Star funding was the only funding we were eligible for, and we will always be grateful.’
What we do has always been best in direct response to what our families share with us and what helps them most so we listen, take on board feedback and then adapt the support we offer accordingly.
‘A monthly/bi-monthly check in would be good.’ This is now a core part of every family support plan.
'Maybe local meet ups when Covid is finished.’ We’d love to co-ordinate these once it’s safe enough to do so.
‘Improved emotional support for stage 4.’ Stage 4 Support group established and awareness campaign planned on living with cancer.
‘Perhaps offering support for the Breastfeeding (or not), Sex & relationships, Managing emotions…but I think you do an amazing job as it is. You’re all stars.’ New website will contain information, blogs and support on these subjects and more.
Just as important for us is to know when things don’t go the way families expect them so we have the opportunity to explain.
‘Quite delayed access to the facebook forum while awaiting documentation from hospital – felt very frustrating at the time when I wanted to meet others in a similar situation.’
Safeguarding of our families, both existing and new, is paramount to us. We understand that being asked for documentation can be very frustrating, however equally this is the only way we can guarantee that are certain everyone is who they say. Where it is possible to have a health professional email us to confirm a families situation, this does speed things up for our families and us, to ensure they received the support the need in the timely manner we aspire to.
One final comment that really struck us was this and it sums up the importance of the lived experience we share as a team and how in turn that helps us know what our families may need. A kind of magic.
‘I would be lost without Mummy’s Star and the forum. They have been there and remained consistent even when other support services stopped. The forum provides mums to connect on the one thing that binds us all that no one else understands. I also know that Mummy’s Star will reach out when I’m low, sometimes without even mentioning anything. What kind of sorcery is that? Thank you Mummy’s Star for being there for me and Norah. We really do appreciate you all.’