By 2020, NCT aims to reach 20 million new parents. Caroline Libberton, Scotland & Northern Ireland Teams Facilitator for the NCT’s Volunteering Department, unfolds what the charity has to offer, before and after you have your baby.

The NCT is the UK’s largest parenting charity and aims to support parents through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. It has a unique support network of 300 local branches, run by parents for parents. We offer a whole range of services, including our renowned Antenatal Classes, run by specially trained and experienced NCT practitioners. These not only prepare you and your partner for birth and parenthood but give you the opportunity to meet other parents-to-be in your area. We also offer postnatal Early Days courses for mums with new babies, which look at the practicalities and emotions surrounding life with your new arrival, including topics such as sleep, feeding, relationships and returning to work. NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors are on hand via the NCT’s telephone helpline (0300 330 0700) or through personal visits to support mums who are trying to breastfeed. And there’s a wealth of evidence-based information on the NCT website on everything from tongue ties to contractions and weaning to fatherhood.

Once you’ve managed to get out of the house with baby, you'll be made very welcome at our Bumps & Babies groups, which are a great place to meet other mums, share your experiences and relax over a cuppa and some homebaking. We offer Baby & Child First Aid Courses in conjunction with British Red Cross, which are a huge comfort for parents, and we organise NCT Nearly New Sales. Our sales are a great place for parents to bag babies’ and children’s clothes and toys, nursery equipment, buggies and maternity wear and much, much more at bargain prices, and sell those babies’ and children’s items that they don’t need any more to generate some extra income.

Your local NCT Branch is always on the lookout for new volunteers, so why not join us? We promise you’ll meet some lovely people and get a real sense of pride and achievement for your efforts – and it will look great on your CV too! No matter how small the amount of time you can devote to volunteering with us, there’s a role or a task for you and a team of friendly volunteers to support you. To find out more, please visit our wesbite.

To find out more about your local NCT branch, email [email protected], Facebook NCT Edinburgh South, or [email protected], Facebook NCT Edinburgh North.