Long-term funding for a popular breastfeeding support project in Northampton is still to be secured.
The Baby Cafe in Wellington Street, was saved for 12 months by Northamptonshire County councillors’ personal funding last year after mums and children marched on County Hall in protest at the withdrawal of funds.
The money raised is about to run out, but a new £60,000 countywide breast feeding support contract now being tendered by Northamptonshire County Council will not necessarily fund the baby cafe, which alone currently costs £16,000 a year.
Briony Askew, co-chairman of the Northamptonshire Breastfeeding Alliance, which was formed by protesting mums, said: “While we’re delighted that a budget has been allocated, we are still unclear exactly what form the county’s specialist breastfeeding support will take for 2013-14.
“We’ve come such a long way since last year when there was no funding being allocated to breastfeeding support but it seems such a shame that the Baby Cafe’s future is still doubtful, especially as the number of families using the service continues to rise.”
The successful bidder needs to provide training programmes to health visitor teams, GP practices and children’s centres, targeted support for all mums with complex breastfeeding issues and mums in areas with low uptake. They must provide either a baby cafe or “a breastfeeding support network.”