New Forest

Supporting the Totton; Hythe and Blackfield; Ringwood and Fordingbridge; Lymington and New Milton teams across the New Forest. We are offering lots of exciting things to families of young children living in the area. We have three buggy walk groups running so far, a befriending service in place, and are out in the community offering information that might be useful to families in managing the health and wellbeing of young children. Watch this space as there are lots more exciting things on the way!

        What's on in the New Forest:
  •  Infant Feeding Cinic - Thursdays 1.00-3.00pm - The Place, Carvers Recreation Ground, Ringwood, BH24 1JD - "Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combination of both, your Health Visiting Team are able to offer advice and support for your baby"
  • 'Introduction to Solids' Workshops. These will run every second Wednesday of each month, in 2018, at Hythe Hospital. Families can just turn up, or contact the Health Team on 02380 423277, for more information. 
  • 'First-Time Parents' Groups, running in various locations. Places must be booked, via your local Health Team. Consists of a 4-week programme covering:
    • Transition to Parenthood
    • Sleep & Maternal Mental Health
    • Accident Prevention & Managing Minor Illnesses
    • Play & Development


Programmes Available

Ready Steady Mums

Most of us want to be fit and active and feel healthy.

The Ready Steady Mums groups are fun and informal community exercise movement for mums.

We know that being active helps us embrace motherhood, be healthy and balanced, and set a great example to our kids.  There are a number of groups across Hampshire with more setting up every month.  These groups are supported by Southern Health visiting team and Barnardo’s through the Hampshire healthy families programme  These groups meet weekly at the same time and venue this supports families with routine and structure.  The groups are free and a great way to meet other parents.

There are opportunities for volunteering and being the group leader.

Contact us to find out more information  

     New Milton RSM group Facebook page 

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Five to Thrive

Recent research proves that how a parent behaves around their baby in the first three years of life has a direct impact on how their baby's brain develops. The five to thrive approach focusses on the importance of five key activities as the ‘building blocks for a healthy brain’

Respond · Cuddle · Relax · Play · Talk.

In the first year of life the brain doubles in size. By the 1st birthday the brain is two-thirds the size of the adult brain.  In the first three years of life the brain is growing and changing faster than it ever will again.

Hampshire Healthy have adopted the five to thrive approach and will incorporate this in group delivery. The Five to Thrive message supports the development of secure attachment and emotional resilience.. Hampshire Heathy Families aim to recruit train and support a number of “five to thrive“ champions across Hampshire. If you are interested in finding out more or setting up a five to thrive group please contact us for more information.

Contact us to find out more information

Visit the Five To Thrive Website

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Health Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young: A unique and highly successful programme supporting parents in giving their babies and young children a healthy start in life and helping prevent childhood obesity.

Hampshire Healthy Families will be working in partnership with the Family Support Service to deliver Henry programme across Hampshire. Henry aims to support families to develop healthier eating habits.  This is an eight week course and will be delivered locally.  Please contact us for more information.

Contact us to find out more information

Visit the HENRY Website

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Knowing Me, Knowing You

A support group, developed in partnership with SHFT and MIND, for mothers with mild to moderate peri-natal mental health problems.

The group provides up to eight mothers and their babies with a two-hour group session, which runs for seven weeks with the aims of enabling mothers to talk about their feelings, develop new coping strategies and to help understand why they might be feeling this way. Click here to read the news article.

Contact us to find out more information

More Information

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Knowing Us

A peer-to-peer support group, led by your local Community Health Development Worker, and supported by volunteers, this is a follow-on group from Knowing Me, Knowing You

Barnardo’s CHDW will offer support in setting up the group for the first two months to enable the peer group to develop on their own accord.  The CHDW will introduce a volunteer if the group are happy for this to happen. The Barnardo’s volunteer will be able to support in set up and set down of the session, welcome attendees and support with activities.  

The CHDW will provide quarterly  support with public health messages.

Contact us to find out more information

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First Time Parents

An evidence-based programme, providing support for first-time parents, including a session linked to the Five-To-Thrive approach  The Community Health development worker will deliver the Five to thrive session.

In the first year of life the brain doubles in size. By the 1st birthday the brain is two-thirds the size of the adult brain.  In the first three years of life the brain is growing and changing faster than it ever will again.

Contact us to find out more information

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Meet The Team

Melanie Wallbridge
Community Health Development Worker

My name is Mel. I am the Community Health Development Worker for the New Forest area. I have worked alongside families and young children for 11 years as a Family Support Outreach Worker. I am very passionate about supporting families and young children with each day being different! Being involved in the set-up of Ready Steady Mums groups, offering courses for carers, and meeting families out in the community are just some of things keeping me busy!
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Melissa Lewis
Children’s Service Manager

My name is Melissa. I have worked for Barnardo’s for four years. Within this time I have managed “Transform” the supporting families programme. I am currently managing Hampshire Healthy Families. I have an extensive knowledge of child development and issues that impact on families. I am passionate about attachment and the impact of trauma in early childhood development. In my previous role I managed “The Play Development Service”. This service delivered a set number of sessions linked to the early years foundation stage within the home to some of the most vulnerable children across Portsmouth.
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Lou Staples
Service Administrator

My name is Lou. I have worked for Barnardo’s for 3 ½ years, as both an administrator and Data Manager. I joined the Hampshire Healthy Families Service at launch in April 2017. I provide Administrative support to the whole team, as well as overseeing financial processes and data capture ... I’m the geeky one!
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Maria Clarke
Volunteer Coordinator

My name is Maria . I have worked for Barnardo’s since April 2017. I am a volunteer co-ordinator for Hampshire Healthy Families. I cover the areas: Hart & Rushmoor, Winchester & Andover, East Hants and The New Forest. I am a qualified Primary school teacher and have previously worked in different schools across Hampshire.
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Discover your local services

We have populated this interactive map with local services that may be of interest to families with young children. This allows you to search for available child health clinics, parent groups, surgeries and support services across Hampshire.

Simply click on the  icon and select the groups you are interested in for more information and to see exactly where in Hampshire it is.

Volunteer roles available in the area

We have some exciting volunteer roles available in this area. If you are interested in getting involved and becoming part of a dynamic and friendly team we would love to hear from you. Visit our volunteering page for more details on the different roles we have, or click on the volunteering box below to request further information and someone will get in touch.

Contact Us Today

Contact Us

Interested in Volunteering?

We are looking for creative and enthusiastic volunteers to join our team, we have a range of roles available across Hampshire.

Find out more

Find us Online

Important Information

Barnardo’s Registered Charity
Nos. 216250 and SC037605

Contact Details

Phone: 01489 797094

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