Helen Calvert is a mother of two, former marketing executive and now a parent advocate and social media campaigner. Helen lives in Cheshire with her husband Phil and sons Edward and David.
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
I am a parent advocate and mum of two. I run a private Facebook group for UK mums, I campaign for better breastfeeding support on paediatric wards (#hospitalbreastfeeding), I am part of the #MatExp (maternity experience) campaign and I am Chairman of my local playgroup. I see my role as bringing together parents and healthcare professionals in various forums to improve support and outcomes for UK families.
2- Who inspires you?
Many, many people! In terms of public figures I am a huge fan of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Lucy-Ann Holmes of the NoMorePage3 campaign is a great example of just what a grassroots movement can achieve. With regards to my own work, I am inspired every day by Florence Wilcock, Gill Phillips and the rest of the #MatExp team, and all of the people I see on social media, and in person, working tirelessly for families.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
I want to see a change in culture with regards to parenting in the early years. The 1001 Critical Days campaign is making a start on this. We need a focus on supporting families and an understanding of just how difficult and isolating parenting can be in the modern world. Parents are bombarded with too much corporate sponsored marketing and not nearly enough evidence based, realistic advice. And I want to see mothers rejecting the media idea of the “mommy wars” and understanding that we are stronger together.
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
If I can play a small role in bringing about the change I refer to above then I would be so happy to be remembered for that.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
I guess it has to be the idea of change happening through people coming together and Just Doing It. The #MatExp campaign links up healthcare professionals and families across the UK and internationally, and encourages them to think about what needs to improve and then to go ahead and make what changes they can. No one needs to ask for permission, no one needs to hold lengthy meetings – we know what needs to be done and anyone can stand up and do it. The idea that I can be a change agent whilst holding no official role is so exciting and I want everyone to know that they can do the same.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?
On Twitter: @heartmummy, #MatExp and #hospitalbreastfeeding
Via my blog: https://heartmummy1980.wordpress.com/