by | Monday, March 11th, 2019 | News

A VOLUNTEER who has spent ten years supporting hundreds of new parents in Plymouth has been nationally celebrated for her hard work.

Mandy Chapman, who works as a health improvement practitioner for Livewell Southwest’s Wellbeing team was highly commended at the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Star Awards.

The accolade was in recognition of her work as an NCT breastfeeding counsellor delivering breastfeeding sessions as part of NCT antenatal courses and offering support and visits on a voluntary basis over many years.

The award celebrates those who have gone above and beyond expectations and made a significant impact on parents’ lives and wellbeing.

Mandy was named as the South West regional winner in January and was invited to the awards at the National Space Centre in Leicester on 7 March where she was given the highly commended award in the’ Practitioner of the Year’ category.

She said: “I was thrilled to win the award for the Practitioner of the Year Category.

“There were 13 of us in the category and it was really inspirational to hear about the work that other practitioners are doing across the country so it was a bit of a shock when they called out my name.”

Mandy has been a peer supporter herself, and her role at Livewell includes training and mentoring breastfeeding peer supporters as well as delivering breastfeeding refresher training for health visitors and midwives at the Livewell Academy.

Mandy runs three peer supporter courses a year, and there are currently 40 supporters in and around Plymouth.

Juliet Mountford, Executive Director of Parent Services at NCT said: “Amanda is a fantastic practitioner who has been an important part of Plymouth and West Devon branch for around ten years. She is always prepared to go the extra mile to support new mums. In addition, Mandy is training a new cohort of breastfeeding peer supporters so that more women in the area can be supported.”

As well as Mandy’s national accolade, she was also named as one of the Plymouth Herald’s most 101 incredible women in Plymouth on International Women’s Day for her breastfeeding work.

Mandy added: “It’s lovely to be recognised locally so thank you to the Herald.

Being an NCT practitioner is a great job and I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many mums and dads-to-be in the Plymouth area. It’s also a great privilege and very rewarding to support them on their journey to becoming parents.”