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Our website and Facebook groups are stuffed with parenting tips, the best family days out, activities, events and more.
Hiya, I’m Helen, founder of Mummy’s Gin Fund.
Back in 2013, I had my first son after 2 girls (I have 2 of each now). I remember standing at the window in my loft conversion in Lewisham, feeding my 12 day old baby at 2am. There were bedroom lights dotted all down the street and I couldn’t help thinking ‘there must be other women out there, feeding their baby too’.
At the same time, my house was full of pink stuff and I was *desperate* to buy some second hand clothes for my boy. Back then, Facebook buy and sell groups were pretty rare (can you imagine!) and I couldn’t find a single one for SE London so, I set one up. I called it ‘Mummy’s Gin Fund’ because I wanted people to buy and sell stuff to fund the Gin they needed to survive parenthood.
I invited 10 of my friends and asked them to invite anyone they knew (and trusted) who was pregnant (to buy my stuff) or had kids (to sell me their stuff). It was all pretty selfish really – I wanted to empty out my cupboards, refill them with cheap stuff and meet new friends.
Completely by accident, Gin Fund turned into a powerhouse of sisterhood. People started asking for recommendations for places to go and things to do which, as trust grew within the group, quickly turned into advice, support and hand-holding.
It was here that I was finally able to start healing from the PTSD caused by the premature birth of my second daughter. I remember clearly when she was a few days old and still in intensive care at Lewisham Hospital NICU. I went for a walk in Manor House Gardens in Lee and remember feeling like I was the only woman in the park without a baby. I wasn’t pregnant, but I didn’t have a pram. The feelings of all encompassing loneliness and pain stayed with me for many years and so, without realising, MGF became my therapy and I vowed never to allow another parent to feel as lonely as me on that day.
Our Facebook group is now a thriving online community of over 30,000 local parents swapping clothes, toys, advice, recommendations and camaraderie. That’s where you’ll find us supporting and cheerleading each other through the ups and downs of parenting. If that isn’t enough, we’re also on Instagram.
We’ve done some incredible things: fundraised for families in need, donated gifts of furniture, clothes and toys to survivors of domestic violence, rescued strangers with screaming children in broken down cars, accompanied each other to hospital appointments and stayed up all night holding virtual hands. We’ve been all over the press and have gone madly viral with things like our #belikepip campaign and the wonderful moment when a group of Gin Funders cleaned a stranger’s house so she could bring her baby home from heart surgery (oh, and we got interviewed by Piers Morgan!). I’ve even been featured in the Sunday Telegraph as well as lots of other magazines.
We run an annual anti-loneliness festival called #knowvember (in November!) – a month jam packed with events to help Gin Funders get to know each other. We have face-to-face and online meet-ups and events and a Recommended Business Directory to showcase local small businesses. I am also launching a Gin Fund Business Club to help support small business owners to grow their business without burning out.