Protest outside council offices, 6th June

The weather forecasts were dismal – 100% chance of rain and up to 50mph winds – and being residents of Blackpool and the surrounding areas we are all very well aware of how the weather can be!

BUT! undeterred, a small but passionate band of families staged a protest in Bickerstaffe Square Blackpool over lunchtime on Tuesday 6th June,  for between 30 minutes and 2 hours, with brief spells in the nearby coffee shop to warm up and refuel!

Here are some photos taken relatively early on in the event, by local photographer Richard Hardwick – some of us were in the cafe and some of us had not yet arrived! All of us had been almost blown to smithereens !

Granada Reports came to report on us, with a segment going out on the evening news, as did The Blackpool Gazette – we’ll link here where we have that coverage.


Remember if you have not yet signed the petition you can do so here

Over 1000 signatures to the petition!

Last night the petition went over 1,000 signatories, which gives us a chance to look back at the some of the amazing comments people have left about their shock and disbelief about this essential Blackpool service closing:

“You cannot close a vital support group like this. My daughter is due to give birth next month and as she’s only 18 she was hoping to have their help and support as she has chosen to breastfeed. Keep the support in place for all future mums and their children.”

“I didn’t breastfeed and didn’t intend to but for people who did this is such an awful thing to lose! I know from my friends experiences they would have been lost without the support of star buddies!”

“I really don’t understand where the support will come from if this service disappears? Midwives and Health Visitors are stretched enough as it is and would need extra training to fulfill this requirement. My twins and I had a 2 week stay in Blackpool Paediatrics after 14 weeks in NICU at Preston. Star Buddies were great at coming to see me and my girls to check our breastfeeding, as I was panicking after leaving NICU and having 24/7 support there.”

“I had my son last week and wanted to breastfeed. I struggled a lot in the hospital but had a visit from a star buddy who gave lots of great advice. After I was finally discharged, I really struggled and was in tears! A star buddy came to my house within an hour and made me feel so much better and more confident. This service needs to carry on as I would have given up by now if it wasn’t for them”

I am so sad to hear about this. This is such a vital service. I have managed to breastfeed 2 of my babies with the help and support from the star buddies. They gave me so much advice, support and a listening ear. They were there when I hurt the most and I had no idea what I was doing. Thanks to them, I had the confidence to go out in public, knowing I was doing the best for my baby.
Please don’t end this service”

“Vital service especially for mums like me who delivered prematurely. Breast feeding is a whole different ball game when you have to express and try and keep your supply there for weeks on end till baby is ready to feed. Star buddies were ace for me”

“Star buddies came to teach me how to collect and store colostrum in advance of babies being born. Without their support and advice I wouldn’t of been able to store my milk in the fridges in the nicu in advance of my twins prem birth.”

“This is such an amazing service…and supported me with breastfeeding my 2 children. Without their support I would have felt alone and given up! Not only did they support breast feeding, the ladies supported me through the early days of being a mum! I have recommended this service to so many new mum’s! I hope the council change their decision. Such an amazing and unique support service!”

There are many many more comments on the Facebook thread too – see this link 

Gazette coverage, Thursday 1st June

Mums are ready to protest Blackpool Council’s decision

A group of mums is ready to mount a protest outside Blackpool Council’s headquarters after the authority axed funding for breastfeeding support services.

The Save Blackpool Breastfeeding Support group was set up following a decision by Blackpool Council to cut funding for the Star Buddies volunteer scheme. They are due to stage a demonstration outside Blackpool Council’s Bickerstaffe House headquarters at 11.30am next Tuesday.

Mums concerned about the loss of the service got together last week at a cafe in Layton to discuss their concerns. And they were clear about the support the Star Buddies had given them, Leanne Lesson said: “I had a bad experience trying to breastfeed my first child as at the time there wasn’t the help that there is now and I ended up giving up. “Without this help many mums like myself would not be able to successfully breastfeed their babies.”

Stacey Mallam said: “To end this service is such an injustice to all mummies and mummies to be. Please Blackpool Council – reverse your decision.”

Star Buddies are trained peer supporters and mums who have breastfed their own babies. In the last 10 years, they have helped thousands of mums and babies in Blackpool. They see mums before they have their babies, in the first two days after they’re born at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and then they call them and visit them at home for the next six weeks to help them with any problems. The service has been highly praised by Unicef UK Baby Friendly.
Blackpool Council says more funding will go into the resort’s general health visitor service.

Read the report on the Gazette website here

We also welcome Dads, Aunties, Uncles, Grandmas and Grandads to the protest, as well as other concerned Fylde Coast residents.

For more information see our Facebook event  and see our Facebook page and to sign the petition and leave your comments, see the petition page