We are so pleased to be have been shortlisted as finalists for the Royal Society of Public Health awards for the postnatal meals service we offered during lockdown and beyond. We know that so many families enjoyed receiving these healthy meals delivered to their door through a network of volunteers and community chefs and we are really excited to have this wonderful project recognised and fingers crossed for us!
Read Isla’s story about being involved with the project:
I had two young children and another on the way when lockdown happened. I heard about the post-natal meals offered by Healthy Living Platform (HLP) through an email that came through my children’s nursery. I thought yeah, cool, I could definitely do with the extra help – and a day off from cooking!
My daughter was born in October 2020 and I started receiving the meals soon afterwards. It was a godsend to be honest. I’d get one meal a week, for the whole family, and they’d often include extra bits as well – nappies and clothing for the baby, and at Christmas we got some toiletries, which was really nice.
The meals were varied, but all vegan, so I would add extra protein such as fish or chicken to make them stretch to the next day and be more appealing to the older children (though to be fair they are very good with eating their greens). I liked the salads and the couscous. Some of the meals weren’t to my taste, but I was so grateful for them and I always gave feedback in a constructive way, because I wanted the scheme to go well and work for as many families as possible.
During lockdown my support system was really limited. But getting the meals from HLP gave me a network to to turn to. We had a WhatsApp group and I got close with another mums from there and we started going to the baby groups together. I also used the recipe kits for the children which HLP delivered to our homes. It was all pre-measured ingredients so it was very easy to do. My eldest loved it and the results were really good!
When the meal scheme finished I wanted to give something back, so for the past year I have been a Parent Champion, Befriender and a Parent Rep. We’ve just had a ‘Take your Pick’ event at Liz Atkinson where parents could come and get used clothes and toys and maternity clothes, which was brilliant. The Champions let the other parents know about these kinds of events and keep them in contact with each other and what’s happening with LEAP.
And as a Parent Rep I am responsible for listening to the views of other parents, and making their voices heard at the LEAP governing board, which I’m part of too. It’s hard to say just how much impact my involvement with LEAP has had but if you’re someone who’s worked, after having a baby you feel like you lose yourself a bit so this has been good, to have grown-up friendships as well because it can get really lonely. I’ve made friends, I’ve gained experience, and I’ve got much more insight into what Lambeth does. It’s given me a sense of community, which I really, really needed. Now I am job-hunting and looking to find work that uses the skills I’ve learned, and helps me to give back to my community.
Find out more about LEAP
Read more about the awards from Royal Society of Public Health