BECOMING a parent is a major milestone in any person’s life. Whether you’re a first-time nappy changer or you just need to have a conversation with someone going through the same things you are, finding a community of supportive friends can make the world of difference.
‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is a proverb that rings true for many new mums and dads.
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However, finding that village – a space where you feel free from judgement, are able to learn while chatting to experienced caregivers and grow in confidence – is not always a reality for many new parents.
And that’s the purpose of BubHub in Hervey Bay.
BubHub is all about helping new or expecting parents aged from their teens to 25 to feel love and support while starting their amazing roles as mums and dads.
We chatted to Jess Amos, the Co-ordinator of City Women Hervey Bay to learn a little more about BubHub and what it has to offer young parents.
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Established by City Women Hervey Bay, BubHub is a joint initiative between City Women Hervey Bay and the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s Bay Families.
Good News Fraser Coast: What is the role of BubHub in the community and why should young parents look to get involved?
Jess: BubHub exists for teen to 25-year-old parents who are wanting to network with other young parents and who want to feel supported during pregnancy and the early years of their child’s life. We provide a non-judgemental, caring environment where parents can feel safe and supported with the support of women who can provide love and care. We offer opportunities where parents can learn about, for example: baby massage, the importance of tummy time, how and when to transition to solids, how to play with your baby safely and sleep techniques. We also have visitors who join us from time-to-time and offer advice in their respective fields. We have had dentists, midwives, lactation consultants and child health nurses attend our sessions. We also welcome other professionals, by prior arrangement, who might want to share their time and knowledge.
Good News Fraser Coast: What does BubHub set out to achieve within the community?
Jess: We want every young family in Hervey Bay to feel supported, valued and have a sense of confidence in raising their child. They might be single teenage mums feeling nervous or a young couple new to the area and needing to make friends. Many parents shy away from other playgroups due to feelings of judgement. We want to welcome all young parents to a safe place where they can connect. The women who volunteer their time love young people and babies and want to make the mums and dads who attend feel loved, confident in their parenting and valued. Most of the volunteers are mums or grandmothers themselves and have experienced raising children. Some have been healthcare workers and because we partner with Bay Families, we can advise young parents on the services that exist within the community and how to access them.
Good News Fraser Coast: Who are you reaching out to?
Jess: We welcome pregnant and young parents aged from their teens to 25. We welcome those feeling excited and over the moon to those feeling isolated, nervous and unsure of what the next few years of being a parent looks like.
Good News Fraser Coast: How do parents benefit from BubHub?
Jess: Parents who attend feel connected, empowered, supported, encouraged, loved, valued and confident. They can also collect baby items through the boutique without having to dig into their pockets. Babies who come along to BubHub experience socialisation, play and fun. However, the program is primarily for young parents to connect and feel supported.
Good News Fraser Coast: Can you explain a little about the goods exchange program?
Jess: We operate the BubHub Boutique, a ‘shop’ where parents can ‘purchase’ new and second-hand clothing and small baby items with BubHub Dollars. BubHub Dollars are earned in various ways. It could be through attendance, engaging with community health through weigh-ins, attending antenatal classes, bringing a friend or even asking questions. We only offer clothing that is still in good condition and ask that any donations are of good quality. Donations of new and second-hand clothes and baby items can be made by contacting City Women Hervey Bay. We have various drop-off locations across town.
Good News Fraser Coast: How can people get involved?
Jess: City Women Hervey Bay and Bay Families operate BubHub on Tuesday mornings at the Neighbourhood Hive – opposite Bunnings – in Boat Harbour Drive from 9.30am to 11am. Please message our Facebook page City Women Hervey Bay before as we sometimes meet at an alternate venue if it’s really hot.
Good News Fraser Coast: Do you need to book a spot or is BubHub open to anyone?
Jess: BubHub is open to any teen to 25-year-old parent who is either expecting or has a young child.
Good News Fraser Coast: Are there any costs involved?
Jess: There are no costs. Tea and coffee are provided. Parents are asked to bring their own morning tea.
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