Oxford Baby Cafes Group Receives Helping Hand from CALA's Community Bursary Scheme

Oxford based breastfeeding support group, Oxford Baby Cafes Group, has received £1,000 funding from CALA Homes as part of the housebuilder’s new bursary scheme. 

17 January 2018

Oxford Baby Cafes Group provides local breastfeeding support with weekly sessions at four locations across the city, facilitated by lactation consultants and experienced breastfeeding supporters. The first Baby Cafe in Oxford city opened in 2006 and was funded by Oxford’s children’s centres. Due to recent budget cuts, the group now relies on donations and fundraising to keep its sessions open.

The donation from CALA Homes has been used to secure the future of the weekly East Oxford Children’s Centre support group on Cowley Road. The donation means that the drop-in session, which takes place every Thursday between 1pm and 3pm, will remain open beyond spring 2018.

The CALA Community Bursary was launched last year and the housebuilder invited local charities, organisations and groups to apply for help to fund projects which make a vital difference in and around their communities.

Stuart Wallace, Regional Managing Director for CALA Homes Chiltern, said: “After receiving lots of amazing applications from many worthwhile causes, we faced an incredibly tough decision when selecting the final successful groups for the Community Bursary initiative. The work that the Oxford Baby Cafes Group does is invaluable to local mums and plays a vital role in providing a space for families to meet and support one another.

“With community firmly placed at the heart of CALA, Oxford Baby Cafes Group perfectly mirrors this ethos and we are delighted to provide the funding they need to continue their great work.”

Lisa Mansour, Oxford Baby Cafes Group’s Project Lead, said: “We are thrilled to receive this funding as part of CALA’s Community Bursary and the money will go a long way towards supporting the work we do.

“In Oxfordshire, more than 80 per cent of mothers initiate breastfeeding but, including mixed feeding, this drops to around 63 per cent by the time a baby reaches eight weeks old. This is very often down to lack of support in those early days. If mothers receive timely and skilled feeding support during this time it is almost always possible to achieve, or even surpass, their own breastfeeding goals.

“We provide a comfortable and safe environment where families receive information and support while they are learning to breastfeed or during challenges later on. Importantly, too, our sessions help to strengthen communities in a city where many young families live far from extended family and support networks. It’s only through donations like this that we can continue our work.”

For more information on Oxford Baby Cafes Group, visit www.obcg.org.uk

Applications for CALA's 2018 Community Bursary are now open. £102,000 in funding is available across the UK. Apply by Friday 23rd March. Find out more.