Wednesday, 12 March 2014

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Dee Lanning



Dee Lanning, 30, moved to Bridport in 2012 with her husband Jake and 18-month-old son Joshua. Dee is a trained dance teacher and taught dance lessons for eight years, but she is now a full-time mother and puts much of her free time into her role as Bridport’s Branch Co-ordinator for the National Childbirth Trust. The trust, which is the UK’s largest charity for parents, works to support new parents through the initial period of having children, from pregnancy and birth and on into the child’s early years.

WHAT do you like about living in Bridport? 
I love how welcoming and friendly people are. There is real sense of community. I come from a town in Northern Ireland that is also by the sea, it has lots of similarities to Bridport which makes me feel very much at home here.

What sort of work does the Bridport and Lyme Regis branch do on a local level? 
It is a small, informal branch and we aim to offer support to families in the area through our many groups and gatherings. All of our mums are friendly and helpful and are only too happy to offer support and advice to other mums. Our Nearly New’ sales offer a chance for parents to purchase good quality second hand clothes and baby equipment.  We also run British Red Cross Baby First Aid courses, for a small charge, which lots of local families have already attended and found invaluable.

WHAT is your role in the organisation and how long have you been involved? 
Around nine months ago I made enquiries about getting involved with the branch - there was a need for a social media and web site manager so I took on the role. In August our Branch Co-ordinator stepped down from role, leaving us with a vacancy that urgently needed filling and there were no volunteers forthcoming. I sat down with the ‘Small Talk’ Newsletter Editor, Alex O'Dwyer, and we decided between the two of us that we could take on the role in the interim so I am now, with no previous experience, one of two Branch Co-ordinators and I think we are doing an OK job.

WHAT was your inspiration to become involved with NCT?  
Before I moved to Bridport I had a handful of friends and I made a few more when we moved, but being at home all day with a baby is quite lonely and I craved adult conversation. I found the NCT Bumps, Babies and Beyond group one of the friendliest that I had attended and started to make friends. The group also offered a support and advice network for my baby and me. When this looked like it was about to disappear I knew I had to help keep it going, even if that did mean taking the reigns for a while.

ARE you looking for more volunteers to get involved with NCT?  
Yes! Our branch is solely run by volunteers so the more volunteers we have the more we can do for local families. We are actively seeking a Branch Treasurer - the commitment to this role would be around four to six hours a month, plus one evening every two months to attend branch meetings. We are also looking for a Fundraising Co-ordinator as well as Bumps, Babies and Beyond and Just Bumps hosts and Walking Group leaders. I think our Nearly New Sale team could do with a bit of help also. If you are interested in volunteering please contact nctblrchair@gmail.com

ARE there any upcoming events you would like to tell us about? 
We have our next Nearly New Sale on Saturday, March 8th at Colfox School between 2pm and 4pm, and we currently have seven places left on our NCT British Red Cross Baby First Aid Course, taking place on Tuesday, June 10th at Bridport Children’s Centre. We also run lots of events on a regular basis including Bumps, Babies and Beyond weekly coffee drop in, Just Bumps monthly pregnancy social evening, Open House, Walking Groups and Mums nights in and out. All of our event are on the nct.org.uk website, you can 'like' us on facebook or even follow us on twitter

ASIDE from NCT, what else do you do in your free time? 
Free time? What is that? Between my toddler and my responsibilities as Branch Co-ordinator I do not get a lot of free time. However, when I find the time I hand-make jewellery, attend a Zumba class in Loders and the NCT Mums Nights Out are always great fun!

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