Not for Profit

Published: November 24, 2021 | Updated: November 25, 2021

Celebrations as £196k National Lottery funding is awarded to charity supporting mental health

Viv Allen, CEO and Founder of DorPiP, with the DorPiP Trustees and team.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A charity supporting the mental health of families after the birth of a child is celebrating after being awarded £196,000 in National Lottery funding.

The money will help DorPiP’s work with families to form attuned and sensitive parent-infant relationships, considered essential for optimum brain development in children.

Although based in Bournemouth, the charity’s services reach across the whole county.

It will use the funding to offer free therapy and support services to parents of children under two who find that having a baby has impacted their mental health or family relationship.

This can, in turn, affect the bond that parents are able to build with their baby.

Viv Allen, CEO and Founder of DorPiP, pictured left, said: “Having a baby is one of the most significant life events we can experience.

“It’s often a source of great happiness, but, for a variety of reasons, can also sometimes be unexpectedly difficult.

“Parents can find themselves a bit lost and needing support in a variety of ways, especially in those critical first 1001 days of their baby’s life which are when the foundations for future life outcomes begin.

“As a therapy service, we create a space for caregivers and their baby where they can express their frustrations, sadness, anxiety, anger – or whatever it is that’s affecting their happiness – and support them in their parenting journey to create a happier, healthier family unit.

“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Fund has recognised the importance of the work we do.

“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to press on with plans to grow the DorPiP service so that more families can benefit from the therapeutic support that we can offer.

“This work is important to children’s long-term health and wellbeing.

“By supporting parents who may be struggling, we are directly helping to improve the life outcomes of children and their families.”

Jo Tolley, Operations Manager at DorPiP and a qualified therapist herself, added: “We are over the moon to have received this funding from the National Lottery Community Fund which will enable us to broaden our therapy service offering to help more families in Dorset.

“We have seen demand for family mental health therapy double during the pandemic so this funding will help to assist families in immediate need of parenting support.”

DorPiP – full name Dorset Parent Infant Partnership – was founded by Viv in 2017 and has positively directly impacted the lives of 340 Dorset families since the service opened.

Figures show that DorPiP has facilitated over four hundred therapeutic sessions in the last year alone.