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Hillingdon mum launches pre-natal advice pack

Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 Leave a comment

A new scheme was launched at the end of June to offer free advice and information to pregnant women around West London.

The Acorn Pack, a collection of local, relevant and ethical information for expectant mothers, is the creation of Jane Woodley, a mother-of-two from Hillingdon.

Jane started the company having realised that many women had regrets about their birth and early parenting experiences. Having been through the experience twice herself, she felt that there needed to be more accessible, realistic and supportive information available to all new parents.

The concept of the Acorn Pack started during Jane’s first pregnancy – although she did not realise it at the time. Her experience with the lack of helpful information on breastfeeding is what initially led her to start researching pre-natal experiences:

“I was fascinated to speak to other women about their birth and breastfeeding experiences.  I did a lot of listening to other women from all over the country talk about their experiences and started to piece together a picture of what breastfeeding support was like in the real world, not in the poster campaign world”.

After months of speaking with healthcare professionals, other expectant mothers, committees and companies, Jane felt she had enough information to put together something which would really benefit mums-to-be:

“My aims were clear.  I wanted to pull together the best and brightest from the world of pregnancy, birth and beyond, to stimulate debate, to empower women to expect a good standard of care, not to get through pregnancy and birth and early motherhood and think, ‘Wow.  I only wish I’d known – I’d have done things differently’”.

Working in partnership with the London Borough of Hillingdon and Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Jane managed to secure start-up funding from Public Health to launch the Acorn Pack Antenatal.

The Acorn Pack carries advertising relevant to new families and is seeking responsible corporate partners to grow Acorn Pack Antenatal and to develop Acorn Pack Postnatal.

Acorn Packs are available from:

  • Barra Hall Children’s Centre, Hayes
  • Coteford Children’s Centre, Eastcote
  • Harefield Children’s Centre, Harefield
  • Hillside Children’s Centre, Northwood
  • Oak Farm Children’s Centre, Oak Farm
  • Yiewsley Cornerstone Children’s Centre, Yiewsley
To find out more information and to read Jane’s whole story, you can visit the Acorn Pack website here.

Drunk driver jailed for seven years

Tuesday, 16 August, 2011 Leave a comment

Jonathan Knowles, 33,  has been sentenced to seven years in jail for killing a married couple from Northwood after he lost control of the car and swerved on to the pavement. The court heard that he had been made bankrupt the previous day and had been drinking that evening, when he chose to drive the short distance to his home.

Alan Bernard, 53, and wife Rochelle, 51, died last September when the car driven by Mr Knowles crashed into them as they were walking down a road. A friend of theirs was also seriously injured in the accident. The couple, who belonged to Northwood United Synagogue, had been staying at their holiday home in Dorset at the time.

A police report on the incident said Knowles was travelling at around 60 miles per hour in his mother’s Mercedes when he crashed. He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Judge Samuel Wiggs said: “It should have been a happy day. They were minding their own business walking home from dinner on the pavement with their arms linked … There was no need to get into the car”.

The couple, who had been married for 28 years, was praised by their son, James: “They were a fantastic partnership and represented everything married life and parenting should be about”.

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