How Volunteering has Saved my Sanity…

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make a difference for yourself, make a difference to others


Parenting North East have become such an important part of my life it’s hard to remember when it started…

I’ve used a sling with both of my children but since becoming a mother of two, slings have become so much more valuable. The Parenting North East Community is about so much more than slings.

It is not always easy to admit that we are finding things difficult, but I did and I still do find life as a Mum, especially a Mum of two hard. I don’t think my experience is unusual

I would say I love my life as a stay at home mum, but I don’t always enjoy it. I find it easy to lose my identity in the day to day life of being a Mummy! This is where my connection with Parenting North East came into its own and I don’t think it is much of an exaggeration to say my commitment to volunteering, and having a purpose outside my childcare responsibilities saved my sanity.

I became a volunteer and a peer supporter and this gave me a reason to go out and talk to people, it also allowed me to help others and support others. This gave me a sense of purpose and an identity as myself again. I love that as an organisation Parenting North East aim to be unbiased and and non-judgemental. They draw people in with slings and the offer of something to help make life as a parent easier. They offer a listening ear, not just to the people who use the library, but their volunteers too.

They will never tell someone they have the ‘wrong type of sling’ (or even that they have to use a sling) they offer information and support with the aim of empowering parents to choose what it right for them.

On a personal level they have offered me a safe haven to have a bit of a cry and a listening ear and helped me find myself again, even when I repeatedly get lost.

I do not have the words to express how passionate I am about these wonderful, supportive and inspirational people and also how proud and excited I am to be part of the future of such a wonderful organisation as one of their volunteers.


photo of katy shipman


Katy Shipman is a volunteer at Parenting North East. She is a peer supporter and a trainee Babywearing Consultant with the School of Babywearing CIC. Kary runs the 4th trimester meet and helps out at Gosforth and Eldon Square.

She says “I love meeting new parents and watching them grow in confidence.”