I am so excited to share some good news. Portishead Parent is now supported by Portishead Town Council.

Portishead Parent

It’s nearly 7 years since the Portishead Parent website was launched, & it’s now being supported by Portishead Town Council. As there may be a few of you who don’t know the full story, I thought I’d just share with you how it all began.

2009 – Pregnant & moving to Portishead

In Spring 2009 we moved to Portishead. I was pregnant with my first baby (& just 6 weeks away from his arrival). At that time I knew nothing about motherhood & even less about community work & volunteering. One week after he arrived, we went along to our local Breastfeeding Support Group – Cafe Mamma, back then it was based at the Gordano Valley Church building on Combe Road. I remember sitting there like a rabbit in the headlights. Someone asked me how I was, someone made me a cuppa & there began my journey into motherhood & becoming part of a very special community. The volunteers were so welcoming & supportive, so I went along to Cafe Mamma every Tuesday.  It wasn’t long before Tamsyn asked me if I’d like to train as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter myself. I’d never done any volunteering before, but was more than happy to be able to repay the favour to other new families. I wasn’t going back to work, I had the time, so why not. It wasn’t much later that I started going along to an NCT group in Portishead, run by Nicola. The group was so popular it moved to Portishead Children’s Centre, & I began to volunteer there too, running a weekly group supporting new parents.

2011 – Baby number 2 arrives

Two years after we arrived, I had our 2nd baby. I was then volunteering regularly for both Cafe Mamma & NCT, now with a 2nd baby in tow. My Health Visitor was really helpful & handed me a ‘What’s On for Parents’ written by one of their student Health Visitors. It was 4 pages of A4, with loads of local groups for parents with little ones. It was brilliant, however, I noticed a few things already out of date, times incorrect, new groups missing. It just needed a few tweaks to keep it updated. I asked the Health Visitors if they’d like me to update it for them, & so I did.

2015 – Welcome to Facebook

After being dragged kicking & screaming to set up a Facebook Account. It wasn’t long before I decided to set up a Facebook Group for parents, I called it ‘Portishead Parent Talk (bump to 11 years)’ .The idea was to provide a group where we could all share what was going on locally & keep everyone in the loop. I was still volunteering at both groups, & still had my finger on the pulse of what was going on.
It was on a walk with friends when I had a brainwave – why not create a website to host all of the information, so everyone can access it. The process was long, took a big leap of faith & I had to dig deep into my pockets to find a local web designer to produce it for me.

2016 – Website Launch

It was1st February 2016 when the Portishead Parent website went live. I’d pulled together everything a local parent would be looking for, all in one place. It’s never been about Portishead as a location, but more about the community of parents who live in Portishead (Pill & nearby). It listed everything available locally, but if the nearest support group for a particular thing happened to be in Clevedon or Bristol, then it was included. The website has always been a Social Enterprise & set up to support the parent community as the main aim. With website hosting, insurance & other business costs to pay, I decided to fund it with local business advertising. The plan was that the income from some business advertising would cover the time I spend on them, the running costs of the website & the time I spend on the community work.

2020 – Hello Covid

Business advertising had always covered the costs of the website, & some of my time. As the pandemic struck & since then, advertising income began to reduce. Portishead Parent has been very lucky to keep going, as the running costs are pretty low. During the last couple of years I’ve watched many local magazines & papers disappear, or shrink to such small sizes, as revenue from advertising has become scarce. I’m lucky to have some very loyal business advertisers & sponsors, & I am so very grateful to them, but It eventually came to a point where I had to ask for help.

2022 – Thank You to Portishead Town Council

After reaching out to Portishead Town Council, I was told they might be able to help. I asked if they could fund a couple of hours each week (term time only), to dedicate to Portishead Parent’s community work. Every family should know where to find local toddler groups, support groups, community events & local support services. This has always been the core of the website & what I’ve always set out to provide for parents. I was so excited when they accepted my application & I can share that they are supporting Portishead Parent throughout 2023. I know how much the website is loved by local parents & how valuable it is to them. For the Town Council to recognise this is amazing & I’m so grateful. The website will be 7 years old on 1st February & I’m feeling very confident that it will continue to be here for many years to come. I also want to say a huge thank you to all my advertisers & sponsors. To all the local parents – keep messaging & emailing me your questions, I’m happy to help.