5th January 2016
A mum of three boys who set up a national network of volunteer-led community activity groups for mothers to help over 1000 mums across England actively embrace motherhood together has been named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Katy Tuncer set up Ready Steady Mums – local volunteer-led groups where mothers meet to exercise together, such as in a park or community centre. These groups help new mothers, who may feel cut off from friends and other sources of support after the birth, overcome feelings of isolation and depression. The groups are started by a mother, with support from their health visitor. They begin as a gentle walking group with other local mums before starting other types of physical activity, meaning there is a very low barrier for mums to get started.
Katy is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
Katy came up with the idea when she began walking with fellow mums together in the fresh air a few weeks after her first son was born, and quickly realised the power of community support. The idea spread and new groups started with their own group leaders. Katy and the group leader community worked together, consulting medical and fitness experts to build the Socialcise programme. Suggested exercises include those that use a pushchair, offering mums the opportunity to participate in a social and exercise activity which includes their children.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Katy has shown fantastic community spirit, taking the enjoyment and support she got from walking with other new Mums, and creating a nationwide movement to help others share the same experience. Ready Steady Mums has grown into a wonderful way for Mums to come together in their local community. I am delighted to recognise her as the UK’s 436th Point of Light.”
Recognising the critical role that health visitors played in supporting new Group Leaders, Katy began discussions with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV). Today, Ready Steady Mums is an iHV-led programme, retaining great involvement from Katy and her team of volunteers. It offers health visitors a proven tool to bring mums together to help reduce and prevent postnatal depression, develop their local community, as well as improve mothers’ physical, social and emotional wellbeing. With health visitors visiting every new mum in the country, they are well-placed to identify, encourage and support new Group Leader volunteers to setup new walking groups – to develop their local community, build community capacity and help tackle social isolation and obesity.
Katy is the 436th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.
Katy Tuncer, founder of Ready Steady Mums, said:
“I am honoured to be recognised by the Points of Light awards and delighted to accept the award on behalf of the many Ready Steady Mums Group Leader volunteers as well as the Institute of Health Visiting. The Group Leaders, together with their health visitors, make a huge difference to the lives of mums after birth. We need to encourage more new Group Leaders and also ensure that health visitors are adequately funded to continue this vital support of our next generation of children.”
Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:
“Ready Steady Mums is a great programme as it provides the social and community support that many health visitors find missing, while also promoting health. Katy’s Point of Light award is great news for the programme and all the mums and local communities who benefit from it now and in the future.”
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Julie Cooper on 07508 344716 or [email protected]
Notes to editors
About Points of Light Awards
- The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
- The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.
- Groups and organisations that are demonstrating the Big Society in their work or activities will continue to be recognised by the Prime Minister through the Big Society awards.
- If people know someone who could be a Point of Light they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
- For more information visit the Points of Light website
About Ready Steady Mums (RSM)
- Ready Steady Mums is a community movement supported by the Institute of Health Visiting, Health Visitors and other medical professionals working with mothers in pregnancy and beyond. We are volunteer-led. All our services are free.
- The RSM concept, and first local groups, were set up by new mum Katy Tuncer in 2010. She began walking with fellow mums together in the fresh air a few weeks after her first son was born, and quickly the group realised the power of community support and the positive effects of actively embracing motherhood together.
- The idea spread, and new Group Leaders worked together, supporting each other, to build what is now the Socialcise programme.
- Katy and the Group Leader community consulted with medical and fitness experts, and built the exercise programme content now available on the RSM website, and the groups grew – in number, size, and level of activity.
- One thing the community noticed was the vital role Health Visitors were playing for many of the mums taking part, so it seemed natural for the Institute of Health Visiting to take the lead in empowering Group Leaders and RSM participants.
- For more information go to Ready Steady Mums
- Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/readysteadymums and Twitter @ReadySteadyMums
About the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV)
- The Institute of Health Visiting is a UK Centre of Excellence supporting the development of universally high-quality health visiting practice. It was established with the support of the Prime Minister and launched on 28 November 2012 to promote excellence in health visiting practice to benefit all children, families and communities.
- The aim for the iHV is to raise standards in health visiting practice, so improving public health outcomes for all children, families and communities.
- For more information go to iHV
- Follow the Institute of Health Visiting on Twitter @iHealthVisiting and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/iHealthVisiting