Singing Mamas choir special guests on National Lottery podcast

Olympic gold medalist and TV presenter Sam Quek has discovered how a group of singing mums led by an inspirational local nurse has become a social prescribing tool to combat postnatal depression.
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Singing Mamas was started by Kate Valentine in 2010, who is the special guest in the latest edition of The National Lottery’s Amazing Starts Here podcast series hosted by Sam Quek.

Back then, Kate was a mother of young children and singing in a group was how she managed stress and found connection and joy.

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When her family relocated to a new area, she couldn’t find a choir where her children would be welcome, and like many mothers didn’t have the option of going without them. A friend persuaded her to start a singing group where mothers could bring their little ones and Singing Mamas was born.

Singing for wellbeingSinging for wellbeing
Singing for wellbeing

The movement grew by word of mouth. Women heard about this group through friends and wanted to go to one near them. Kate, who is based in Forest Row, East Sussex began to train other women in how to step into leadership and build song-sharing communities that improved health and wellbeing. Over the last decade Kate has trained more than 100 other women to deliver the Singing Mamas across the UK.

Now the Singing Mamas is one of the thousands of organisations throughout the UK which benefit from the £30 million raised every week for good causes by National Lottery players.

With the help of National Lottery funding from Arts Council England, the Singing Mamas network has spread across the UK and now beginning internationally in the last 13 years and its growth saw Kate leave the NHS to focus on expanding its reach and training facilitators.

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Speaking to Amazing Starts Here host, Sam Quek, who is a mother to two young children herself, Kate revealed the organisation now partners with the NHS as a form of social prescribing, with 90 women referred in the first three months of 2022 to combat postnatal depression and anxiety.

Given her job, Kate felt strongly that the joy and community of being in a singing group can help mothers in distress.

She said: “We exist because suicide is the leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and one year after birth, and because singing is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of postnatal depression faster than the usual forms of treatment.”

Sam Quek added: “As a former elite athlete, I’ve been fortunate to benefit directly from National Lottery funding and have seen how it’s helped us bring home medals galore from Olympic and Paralympic games. “

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In this series, I will be meeting some impressive people who have been making their mark in all aspects of life across the UK and catching-up with some familiar faces to find out how National Lottery support has empowered them to turn their dreams into reality.

“I hope you can join me to find out where the amazing starts”.

Listen to the full episode of Kate Valentine from the Singing Mamas talking to Sam Quek on Amazing Starts Here: