Milk Fairies celebrate record grant from Tamworth Co-op

A unique breastfeeding support group based in Tamworth has received its largest ever grant after shoppers generously donated their dividends to provide much needed funding.

Customers at Bolehall Co-op raised £669 for Tamworth Milk Fairies as part of the convenience store’s Community Dividend Fund scheme.

Jayne Cutforth, manager of the Tamworth Co-op owned store, said: “Every year we invite our customers to nominate a good cause in the neighbourhood to receive a grant from the fund, and this year they chose Tamworth Milk Fairies. We’re delighted to be able to help them because they do such great work in the community.”

The group is run entirely by trained volunteers, offering free advice to hundreds of new mums on how to successfully breastfeed their babies and give them a good start in life. They also provide ante-natal support and meetings where women can get together to swap their experiences.

Qualified, experienced breastfeeding peer supporters run information sessions on Mondays from 10am to 11.30am at Leyfields Children’s Centre and on Thursdays from 1pm to 2.30pm at Glascote Children’s Centre. Volunteers also give online support and carry out home visits. The Milk Fairies have more than 300 members in their Facebook group.

Tamworth Milk Fairies was set up as a community interest company in 2015 following the closure of a similar council-run service.

Managing director Ellie Fielding said: “This is absolutely amazing. It’s the most we’ve ever been given. We really can’t thank Tamworth Co-op and the shoppers enough. At the moment we rely on donations and pockets of funding, but it’s so hard getting money to do things.

“Currently we have nine volunteers, but will be training more. So we will be spending the money on training packs and name badges for the trainee volunteers, as well as promotional boards to spread the message about what we do. As far as we’re aware we are the only peer support group and community interest company in the country offering this type of service.”

The Community Dividend Fund will be handing out £10,000 this year to worthy causes in the trading area of the Tamworth Co-operative Society.