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Health visitors do triathlon to support breastfeeding initiative

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A team of North Yorkshire health visitors have taken on a “tough” triathlon to raise funds for a breastfeeding support scheme to help mothers and families who experience challenges.

The health visitors, from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, completed the Skipton Triathlon last week to raise money for more specialist training and resources to enhance the role of a breastfeeding champion.

“Fingers crossed we will raise lots of money to provide that support to mothers and families”

Debbie Stuart

The new breastfeeding champion initiative provides specialist breastfeeding support to mothers and families who experience complex challenges that cannot be met through basic help and support.

On Sunday 14 April, the team of health visitors took on a 400m swim, a circuit bike ride and a two lap 5km run in and around Skipton to help support the initiative.

Rebecca Westwood, Jo Fambely, Debbie Stuart, Sarah Morrish, Heather Bullock and Bill Hall, who made up the triathlon participants from Harrogate and District, are part of the Growing Healthy North Yorkshire 0-19 Children’s Service.

On a JustGiving page dedicated to the cause, the health visitors said they wanted to use the money raised to further develop services supporting families with breastfeeding, infant feeding and relationship building.

They said they wanted to “continue to provide staff with useful resources that ensure unbiased evidence-based information” to all families.

In addition, the team would like to enhance their specialist service, by “ensuring that further education is provided” to health visitor breastfeeding champions.

Ms Stuart, a community infant feeding co-ordinator, said: “We were all nervous to take part, especially when we saw how tough the triathlon was going to be.

“However, it was all worth it,” she said. “It was amazing, we all really enjoyed ourselves.”

She added: “Fingers crossed we will raise lots of money to provide that support to mothers and families who are experiencing challenges with breastfeeding.”

Following their triathlon efforts, Ms Stuart and the team are still raising money for the initiative. Donations are welcomed via their JustGiving page.

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