Sue Saxey (NCT’s President): “I joined the NCT 22 years ago, and I know some of you joined long before that. We joined an organisation that was based on members and branches. My own branch had no antenatal classes, no breastfeeding counsellors, there was no email, no yahoo groups, no websites. For me NCT was coffee mornings. And what a lifeline they were. The world has changed, and we must change with it.I've seen lots of NCT change, none more so than in the last 5 years. We created our first strategy in November 2005 and we intended it to last for 15 years, with targeted action plans for year 5, 10 and 15. Having a strategy focuses attention and gets us all moving in the same direction. We have had unprecedented growth. And the objectives we set in 2005 have nearly all been reached: We increased the number of parents we supported, We created more services for them and increased our helpline support. The ability for all parents to access our services grew. We were successful in our campaigns Our vast network of mutual support across the UK reached more parents,and all this despite the economic challenges we faced. We've now completed two mergers, with Baby Café and MIDIRS. So we can now provide breastfeeding support to even more parents and at the same time start to reach those from a broader and more diverse range of backgrounds. The MIDIRS merger means our research and information function can quickly expand, allowing us to speak directly to the health professionals in maternity care, and to strengthen our position as a trusted source of evidence-based information that people can call on. This new growth and expanding role as a result of mergers makes this an ideal time for NCT to re-examine its charitable remit. So we have updated our vision, set new priorities for the future and developed a strategy for the coming decade – taking us to 2020.”
This new strategy has been built on the successes of the past and the needs of parents in the present.We have developed it as a charity, working together, talking, listening, sharing views and experiences. The strategy was developed through a series of consultation events, the strategy & policy forum, and I want to thank my predecessor, Gail Werkmeister, for facilitating those events held in her presidency. We conducted a survey in NCT matters, when it was newgen, with our members and supporters. We have featured strategy sessions on conference and forum programmes and have used every opportunity to find out what’s needed and gain members' views on how to meet those identified needs. Now we’re presenting it to you and again listening to find out how we can all work together to make it happen, so that every single person and couple going through the transition to parenthood between 2011 and 2020 gets to know and feel valued and supported by NCT. So they all get the best support we can give them.
NCT was established 55 years ago to support parents. We believe confident and supported parents raise stronger families and contribute to close communities and a positive society. Parents are key to the development of happy and well-adjusted children. So, our focus is always on parents, parents-to-be and their early parenting experience.This is a major life change – the transition to parenthood cannot be overestimated in terms of emotional and physical impact alone, let alone other social changes. Parents often care for their babies and young children under difficult circumstances, while facing more than one challenge at a time. Under the weight of social and economic pressures and an array of conflicting advice from official and unofficial sources, everyday problems can become difficult for new and expectant parents to face. Even advice offered by friends and family, based on their own experience and knowledge, can add to the enormity of their circumstance, and the decisions they have to make. Going forward, one of NCT’s priorities is to continue to understand the everyday challenges parents face and to look for solutions that help them to meet all their needs, without the conflict of having to choose one side of a dilemma over another. At NCT, we focus on the strengths and assets of mothers and fathers, as well as the social networks within the communities that parents live. Parents are the future of our society because they are the guardians of the development of generations to come. The value of their role in all our futures and the enormity of the task they have, needs to be recognised and supported. With this new strategy, we will continue our work to protect and develop services that will encourage the confidence of new parents and parents-to-be, helping them to find their own solutions and empowering them during their decision-making. That way, they can enjoy growing into their role in a way that feels right both for them, and their families.
Every year there are over 800,000 births in the UK. NCT believes therefore that every year there are over 2.4 million people in the transition to parenthood, pregnant, with a very young baby or at least one child under 2. Our vision must apply to all of them and we must do our utmost to make a real difference to the lives of as many as we can.
Belinda Phipps (NCT Chief Executive): Sue has set the scene beautifully for me now to talk you through this new strategy
The first thing we need to do is identify and clarify what we’ll do and what’s not our role within this strategy. We have set ourselves 4 boundaries:GeographyThe time of life we support people through Our beneficiariesOur positioning
We also have 3 new strategic directions to guide all our work . These are the approaches we will adopt to undertake the work under each of the 5 themes.
Our approach to growth is to reach more parents and diversify who we reach and how we reach them. We need to be in every part of the UK, offer relevant supports and services. We need to be face to face, online and on the phone, a trusted source of support and of information and a voice for all. Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances in which you parent, NCT will be here for you. By thought leadership we will be putting ourselves forward as an unrivalled source of knowledge on what parents need and what parents want. We will be influencing and lobbying to ensure that the root causes of the many of the issues parents face are tackled at the earliest possible opportunity and by the most appropriate person or agency. This will often mean we will be more proactive and less reactive. For example, in terms of the policies of the 4 country governments, we will be seeking to be more involved at developmental level and less needed to react to policy announcements which are less than what parents need. We will :Seek and encourage recognition that child wellbeing depends on parent wellbeingPromote confidence, empowerment of and respect for parentsProtect normality - ‘what parents/ mothers want’Encourage that services are based on evidenceOur approach to partnership will involve making sure we know all the people and organisations we need to know, be known to and be working with. We will work in partnership in a variety of ways, through contracts, delivering services to parents and in identifying and delivering policy and services changes which provide solutions to the issues parents face.
This strategy sets out five new strategic themes which will form our objectives and guide our workplans. We will group our work and activities under each of these.Confident parents Supportive services Positive image of parenthood High-quality information An efficient organisation You will have a chance to hear more about how these are implemented through some of the other 2020 workshops.The detail is not all set in stone – it’s a 10 year strategy which will need planning and review as its implemented.
By doing things in these 5 areas we will be able to achieve our vision which will benefit parents, their babies and children and society overall. This structure also allows us to identify gaps in our activities and services and to always make sure that we are doing what is needed to achieve this vision
2011/12 is the first year of implementation We will really be preparing the ground and doing the first essential steps and actions so that we create the right environment and framework for each action to be achieved successfully. This year we take some initial steps.We will: Define what we mean by Transition to Parenthood and name itRaise our profile as a charity that covers the Transition to Parenthood Raise our profile to be publically recognised and valued as a thought leaderDefine supported and informed parents Develop written down NCT service scope and curriculum Define what we mean by evidence based and parent centred
So this first year will seem rather “top line” – like that first part of house building where you can’t always see the fruits of your labours but without which the structure wouldn’t stand! We’ve already completed a consultation on theme 1 , about how we – principally you, through your face to face services for parents, will create consistent and supported parents in communities right across the UK. We will also start to implement necessary improvements to our systems, structures and processes so that we're a more efficient organisation better able to achieve our 2020 vision and deliver on that 202020 commitment. But it’s still business as usual for the busy NCT. We still need to provide services for every parent who comes to us and we still need to reach out locally to more and more We still need to raise sufficient income so your fundraising work is as needed as ever, if not more than ever.
So, to theme 1 which is focussed on our services and support to those in the transition to parenthood
We are looking to fill the following gaps…
Early to mid-pregnancy Direction: Recognition that the transition to parenthood begins long before birth, with NCT providing improved support throughout pregnancy, particularly during the early months. We will: Improve web and helpline support for mothers during early pregnancy, and train NCT workers to provide listening services on relevant topics.Expand branch activity and volunteer training so that mothers and fathers can access local mutual support from the first trimester of pregnancy onwards.Work more closely with community midwifery services to raise awareness of NCT mutual support networks and services earlier in pregnancy.
Relationships Direction: NCT responds to the need for improved understanding of and support for the impact of new parenthood on family relationships. We will: Train NCT practitioners to provide information and support about relationships.Work with organisations and professionals with specific skills in relationship support and signpost to relationship support services provided by other organisations.
The first six weeks after birth Direction: Recognition that the early days and weeks as a new parent can be particularly difficult and that improved NCT support during the early postnatal period is needed. We will: Develop new models of perinatal peer support including branch based ‘buddy schemes’. Integrate our antenatal, postnatal and feeding services to provide packages of care that meet parents early postnatal needs. Work with parents’ extended social networks, in particular grandparents, to enhance family-based postnatal support.
Fathers Direction: Recognition that fathers have independent needs for information and support during the transition to parenthood. We will: Develop evidence-based information, and information produced by fathers for fathers, about the transition to parenthood.Develop and evaluate courses for fathers and postnatal sessions for couples.Encourage branches to provide events that focus on fathers.Begin to train male NCT practitioners to work with primarily fathers.
Older babies and toddlers Direction: Recognition that the transition to parenthood is an ongoing process, with improved NCT information and support for parents of older babies and toddlers. We will: Improve web and helpline support and information for parents throughout the early years.Develop new models of NCT practitioner facilitated mutual support for parents of babies aged six months to two years to enable parents to confidently develop in their roles.
All feeding journeys Direction: Support parents’ decision-making journeys, whist ensuring that decisions to breastfeed are enabled and protected. We will: Provide help with breastfeeding via antenatal classes and postnatal breastfeeding counsellors, peer, and Baby Café support; and evaluate ‘opt-in’ support in the early weeks. Ensure that mothers who decide not to breastfeed, or who decide to use any formula milk, have access to appropriate and supportive NCT information and services.Ensure that our helpline attracts calls about any aspect of feeding so that mothers are empathetically listened to, supported and signposted to relevant information, without needing to label themselves or rely on help from commercial organisations. Be more consistent in our language and tone to improve public understanding of our approach to infant feeding.
2020 Tour morning presentation
NCT is the UK’s largest charity for parents1, 5 and 10 years aimsdelivered well ahead of schedule
In 2009-10 317branchessupported 117,500parentsMany new parents find branch events the first opportunity toget out of the house alone with a new baby and see theserelationships as a lifeline at this vital time
In 2009-10 there was a 40% increase in active volunteersMore branches are reaching larger numbers of parents throughantenatal and postnatal drop-ins, including for parents with specificsupport needs such as the 40 dads groups and 55 home birth groups
In 2009-10 1000NCT practitionerssupported216,750 parentsOver 1,000 NCT practitioners provided specific services to parentsincluding face to face support in structured classes and courses andvolunteer support via NCT Helpline
In 2009-10380,000 parentsreceived an NCTinformation sheetNCT produces fact based information sheets free for parents to assist themin making informed decisions about their birth and parenting choices. Theyare distributed via health and social care professionals, volunteers and NCTpractitioners as well as being available to download
In 2009-10 therewere 1,872,000visits to ourwebsiteNCT’s website is a key touch point for parents’ seeking information onservices and topics of concern and interest during the transition toparenthood. Popular pages include the Nearly New Sales finder, the Coursefinder and the Info Centre
In 2009-10715 healthprofessionalsreceived NCTtrainingNCT Professional’s training service provides bespoke training for healthprofessionals and Children’s Centre staff on a range of topics and training forMaternity Service Liaison Committees (MSLC) on effective partnership working
In 2009-1038,850 copies ofPerspective weredistributedPerspective, NCT’s publication for parent-centeredmidwifery, summarises news, research and evidence formidwives
We championedthe right ofparents to choiceof place of birthand goodpostnatal careOur Location, location, location campaign and Left to your own devicesresearch gained a great deal of media and political attention
We worked hardto achieve bettersupport forfeedingUnder the Equality Act, passed in April 2010, mothers cannot bediscriminated against, asked to leave a venue or treated unfavourablybecause they are breastfeeding when out and about in England and Wales
We invested inservices andsupport soevery parentcould access usNCT Shared Experiences Helpline offers callers who have had achallenging experience of pregnancy, birth or early parenthood the chanceto talk to a volunteer who has had a similar experience
We worked in newways and with newpartners to supportmore parentsMums2B Antenatal Drop-in Group for Young Parents in Leeds was setup in partnership with Women’s Health Matters and Leeds SocialServices. The service aims to provide information about birth and earlyparenthood and empower and support young parents through anetwork of peers, access to information, and support services
• We created our first strategy in November 2005 and we intended it to last for 15 years, with targeted action plans for year 5, 10 and 15.• We have had unprecedented growth. And the objectives we set in 2005 have nearly all been reached• Weve now completed two mergers, with Baby Café and MIDIRS.• This new growth and expanding role as a result of mergers makes this an ideal time for NCT to re-examine its charitable remit. So we have updated our vision, set new priorities for the future and developed a strategy for the coming decade – taking us to 2020.
• This new strategy has been built on the successes of the past and the needs of parents in the present. We have developed it as a charity, working together, talking, listening, sharing views and experiences.• It was developed through a series of consultation events, the strategy & policy forum and a survey with our members and supporters.• We have featured strategy sessions on conference and forum programmes and have used every opportunity to find out what’s needed and gain members views on how to meet those identified needs.• Now we’re presenting it to you and again listening to find out how we can all work together to make it happen, so that every single person and couple going through the transition to parenthood between 2011 and 2020 gets to know and feel valued and supported by NCT.
• We believe confident and supported parents raise stronger families and contribute to close communities and a positive society. Parents are key to the development of happy and well-adjusted children. So, our focus is always on parents, parents-to-be and their early parenting experience.• Going forward, one of NCT’s priorities is to continue to understand the everyday challenges parents face and to look for solutions that help them to meet all their needs, without the conflict of having to choose one side of a dilemma over another.• At NCT, we focus on the strengths and assets of mothers and fathers, as well as the social networks within the communities that parents live.• With this new strategy, we will continue our work to protect and develop services that will encourage the confidence of new parents and parents-to-be, helping them to find their own solutions and empowering them during their decision-making.
The 2020 vision “A world where parents are valued and supported to build a strongsociety, believing that a child’s early years significantly impact upon the future they help to shape.”
So we’ve set ourselves a targetWe call it: 20 20 2020 million parents who have enjoyedand benefitted from the support of thisamazing charity by the year 2020.
Let’s work together to reach 20 million parentsTogether we can, we will, do it
Making our vision reality for 20 million parents
These are our boundaries for the strategyUK and Islands CharityLife-stage• The transition to parenthoodBeneficiaries• Short term beneficiaries, all expectant and new parents• Longer-term beneficiaries, children and society• Intermediates healthcare professionals, service providers and policy makersPositioning• Evidence and support for decisions
New strategic directions• Growth• Thought leadership• Partnership
New strategic directionsGrowth• Reaching more parents• Diversifying our offer and our reachThought leadership• Solving the dilemmas parents face• Creating breakthrough solutions• Changing the context in which people parentPartnership• Grow through contracts and joint-working• Provide solutions for or with others
Five strategic themes1. Confident parents2. Supportive services3. Positive image of parenthood4. High-quality information5. An efficient organisation
ParentsServices Parents Society Perceptions NCT Vision Babies and children Evidence Efficient NCT
2011-2012• Define Transition to Parenthood and name it• Raise our profile as the TTP charity• Raise our profile as a thought leader• Define supported and informed parents• Develop NCT service scope and curriculum• Define evidence based and parent centred
2011-2012 and you• A period of consultation and clarification• And business as usual
What this involves• Reaching 20 million people who are becoming parents• Making a difference to all of them
Make contact and keep in touch• Each month 60,000 women and their partners discover they are to become parents• Each month 50,000 of them do not go on NCT’s database and so we can’t support them
Make contact and keep in touch• Extending our geographical and social reach to be there for all parents - in all four countries, all regions, urban and rural, mainland and on our islands, younger, older, all social groups, cultures, origins and circumstances
Be the first port of callBe Known• Strong local branches with a visible presence• Warm recommendation from healthcare professionals and past users• Positive public profile• There from childhoodBe easy to reach• Single NCT helpline with options• Web-based NCT info-centreHave a friendly F A C EBe sticky