Information for Service Providers

The Cherish Project is a Perinatal Support service for women in the Scottish Borders. It  is an early intervention, low intensity service designed to support women during this time if she is struggling with her emotional health and well-being or if she has been diagnosed with a low to moderate level perinatal mental illness. We can also support women when their personal circumstances mean they may be vulnerable to developing a perinatal mental illness.


We aim to work closely with midwives, health visitors, GPs, Early Years Centres, 3rd Sector services and specialist perinatal teams to enhance what is available to families. The service provides women with a dedicated trained volunteer who will offer emotional and practical support and support to access other services in the community.


The Service Aims to:
  • Improve mental health and well-being of expectant  and new mothers

  • Support a positive relationship between mums and their babies, promoting bonding and attachment

  • Reduce social isolation of families

  • Promote access to other services

  • Increase self confidence of Mothers and Volunteer Mother befrienders 

How the Service  Helps

We can help by providing intensive support, throughout pregnancy and during the first year of the child’s life, to the mother, her partner and her immediate family.


We aim to improve the mothers mental health and outcomes for her baby by promoting a healthy attachment between the baby and mother and supporting mothers to develop skills and strategies to enhance their mental well-being for both.. The service also recognises the significance of sustaining wider family relationships.

Our Mum Befrienders:

  • Offer mother regular emotional support to reduce social isolation and to help mum be more emotionally available for her baby and other family members

  • Assist mothers to identify thier own strengths and goals, and support her to work towards these

  • Observe how the mother responds to her baby and offer gentle guidance on how she can better relate to and parent her baby

  • Help the mother take her baby and other children outside of the home so they can access services they need – i.e. health services, shops, parks and Early Years’s centres

  • Give the  mother support with issues which concern them, for example by signposting to organisations that can help with benefits and housing,

Group Work &  Community Support

The service also offers a group drop-in to enable mothers to access wider peer support, as well as an online community room. Mothers will also be invited to participate in a variety of workshops and classes (such as Daisy Birthing, Developmental Infant Massage, Mindfulness, & Gentle Sleep workshop), all carefully chosen to enhance well-being, knowledge and confidence. 

About our  volunteers

Our  Mum Befriender volunteers are central to the service we deliver and as they are all mothers themselves bring an important level of peer support.

Our volunteers come from a variety of different backgrounds, many of whom have lived experience of overcoming perinatal mental health difficulties and some have been previous service users. Their own lived experiences are particularly valuable in our work, as they enable shared understanding and reciprocity between befriender and mother. 

All our volunteers are required to undergo screening including PVG checks and undertake 10 weeks of thorough training which they must pass to ensure they have the skills and competencies they will require before we match them with a service user.

Our volunteers are managed by a professional project co-ordinator and are given regular supervision to ensure we provide a high quality Mum Befriending Service. Nurture the Borders follows all appropriate Child and Vulnerable Adult guidelines and practices. 


Women are able to self-refer to our service if they meet our referral criteria at any point within their perinatal period. They are able to do this in three ways:

We are also able to accept referrals from third parties including GP's, Midwives, Health Visitors, Social Work, Early Years Team and  third sector agencies if the woman has consented to the referral. You can do this via the referral form which can be downloaded below.








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Our Training

We are a recognised One Awards training centre and are proud to be endorsed with their Quality Mark for excellence in training provision. Our training programme has under gone rigorous external verification and quality assurance to ensure it is high quality.

Our Volunteer Mum Befrienders must successfully complete over 35 hours of training before they are able to work with one of our service users. Once they have successfully completed their training they are awarded a certified Diploma in Perinatal Maternal and Infant Support.

Our Perinatal Maternal & Infant Support Training includes the following modules:

  • Perinatal health & well-being of mother and infant

  • Understanding Perinatal Mental Illness

  • Infant Mental Health

  • Attachment Theory & Infant development

  • The role of a Mother Mentor

  • Boundaries in relation to ourselves and others

  • Safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children

  • Equality & Diversity in relation to working with mothers

  • Practical skills for supporting mothers and babies

  • Communication & Interpersonal Skills

  • Understanding our community and other community supports

© 2016 Nurture the Borders C.I.C

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