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Charity walk aims to raise funds to help those with baby blues

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 October 2017

Last year's East London Big Push (Picture: Belinda Ngugi)

Last year's East London Big Push (Picture: Belinda Ngugi)

Belinda Ngugi

A parenting charity wants to show that raising money for good causes can be a walk in the park.

The National Childbirth Trust’s (NCT) Newham branch is hosting the East London Big Push, a five kilometre walk or buggy stroll through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Organisers hope the event on Sunday, October 15 will raise thousands to support those affected by postnatal depression and mental health services for new parents.

“This will be a fun event organised by NCT parents in one of the world’s most iconic parks,” said the chairwoman of NCT’s Newham branch, Kelly Drake.

“When a woman has a baby we think it should be the most amazing time, but for some it is clouded by feelings of a lack of control, heightened anxiety and an inability to cope.

“Having kids is amazing, but we all need help and support.”

Postnatal depression, also called the ‘baby blues’, affects more than one in 10 women within a year of giving birth, according to the NHS. It can also affect fathers and partners, but this is less common.

“Recovery started when I got brave enough to own what I was going through,” said Stratford mother-of-two Lee Raggett. “Taking off the mask and allowing how I was feeling to be seen started the process.”

Her husband, Jonathan, said: “I will never forget how difficult it was to watch the person I love fall into such a darkness and feel utterly powerless, but I also remember the huge impact that getting help brought.”

The stroll is open to all ages and abilities with walkers encouraged to bring a picnic for after the family-themed event.

There is a £5 registration fee for adults, while children are free. All participants will receive a goody bag.

The event coincides with a month-long social media campaign aiming to break the stigma around postnatal depression, which can stop women and new parents from seeking help.

It will also try to explain the symptoms of PND, with advice on how to spot signs of depression in friends, family and loved ones, and give information on approaching doctors for help.

The NCT supports thousands of parents each year through its more than 300 local branches.

To register, click here.

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