A LISBELLAW woman who has helped fellow mothers get to grips with breast-feeding is in the running as a Community Champion. 

Mother-of-four, Natasha Dane said she was "shocked, and to use the cliché phrase, "humbled" to have been nominated in the Impartial Reporter Community Champion Awards, in association with Encirc. 

Mrs. Dane has been nominated for her stellar work as a Western Trust Peer Support Volunteer, where she has helped countless mothers on their breastfeeding journeys. 

As one of several peer support volunteers locally, Mrs. Dane makes contact with new mothers 48 hours after they are discharged from the hospital and acts as a point of support and contact for breastfeeding going forward. 

She explained: "When I first started breastfeeding six years ago, friends of mine helped me through it.

"At that point, I realised how important it was to have someone who understands what you are going through. I then decided to train as a peer support volunteer through the Trust, and I started doing peer support properly in 2019.

"When Covid hit, this peer support was invaluable, as everything was shut down. A Whatsapp group was set up, and it was very active during the pandemic. Then, when things opened up, the Whatsapp group ended and we returned to face-to-face support."

In addition to her volunteering through the Trust, Mrs. Dane has also become known as a go-to contact for breastfeeding advice across the county. 

"It's very rewarding and it's great to be able to help people on their journeys, whether they are pregnant or are starting to breastfeed their first, second or third child," she continued.

"It is also great to see others go on to become Peer Support Volunteers, having been inspired by what I have done. It's nice to see the chain of volunteers continuing."

Mrs. Dane concluded: "It's been a privilege to be able to breastfeed all my children, and I will forever be grateful for the help I have received along the way.

"I will never forget the kind words of friends that put me on this life-changing journey."