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Cumbrian mental health project shortlisted for national award

The Happy Mums Foundation has been shortlisted in a national award for mental health support.

The Marsh Awards are presented annually by the charity Mind to recognise excellence in mental health peer support in England and Wales.

The Happy Mums Foundation has made it to the final in the “Doing it for Ourselves” category and will find out whether they have won at a virtual awards ceremony on December 10th.

The winning project in each category will get £500 while two runners up take home £250 each.

The Happy Mums Foundation was set up by Cumbrian woman Katherine Dalgliesh, because of the lack of support she found for mums going through mental illness. This hindered her own recovery after severe post-natal depression and led to her launching the #MumsTogether project in 2017.

Since then, Happy Mums has supported more than 200 women in small peer-support groups and become a lifeline for countless mums and families.

In September they launched a new project #HappyMumbria to take their groups to more women across north, east and west Cumbria. Since then they have provided online groups to mothers struggling with their mental health, and caring for children, in the restrictions of Covid.

Happy Mumbria project lead Sarah Penn said “Our work is more important than ever – so many mums are suffering, cut off from their normal channels of support. By giving these women a chance to connect, we are able to break some of the isolation they feel.”

Group member Laura Kirby said: “They are just amazing, you wouldn’t think that just being in a group of other mums chatting about how you feel and how your week’s been, you wouldn’t think that would have such an impact on your life. I’m able to be a better mum… a better person as Laura, and that’s mostly down to the Happy Mums Foundation. If they weren’t there and they didn’t do what they do I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”

Katherine Dalgliesh, Executive Director and founder said: “We are delighted our hard work has been recognised by Mind – there are so many amazing projects in England and Wales, so we are really proud to have made it to the final. It’s down to everyone involved – we are a peer-led organisation and our strength comes from every group member.”