East Cambridgeshire businesses pledge support for mums

Business owners in East Cambridgeshire are saying yes to offering a warm welcome to mothers who breastfeed and pump, as part of a new initiative supported by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

FreeToFeedCP encourages businesses to sign up as a breastfeeding and pumping friendly business, so mothers can feel relaxed, comfortable and confident feeding their children whilst out of the home. The initiative has proven popular in East Cambridgeshire with 12 businesses already pledging their support.

The FreeToFeedCP initiative is being jointly delivered by the council and NHS Cambridge and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme and is being launched this week as part of World Breast Feeding Week (1 – 7 August).

Silver Oak Coffee Ltd which runs The Yard in Ely, was the first company to sign up.

Susanne Stent, owner and director, explained why: “The Yard was designed to be an inclusive venue. Our original intention was to provide a separate feeding room for mothers, however, our focus group of mums told us they wanted to be seated with others, and that is what we have provided.

“A safe, secure, indoor room is provided with comfy seating for mums to feed, while siblings can have fun in the soft play area. The area has a security gate that children can’t operate, allowing mums to relax while feeding and watch their children playing.

Susanne adds: “Some mothers may prefer to sit in the main undercover seating area and feed, they can do so being confident the business and our employees will fully support them in their choice.”

Cllr Alan Sharp, Vice Chairman of the Operational Services Committee, adds: “The FreeToFeedCP initiative is removing barriers, to ensure residents and visitors feel comfortable and confident while feeding their children in Ely’s food premises, and is an initiative the council is proud to help facilitate.”

Businesses signing up to the pledge ensure their employees are trained and they support and defend a mother’s choice of feeding in public, as well as providing a clean and safe environment.

Nina Morley, Infant Feeding lead at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Visiting Service said: "Feeding in public can be daunting for some, so having venues that people can go to knowing that they will be welcome and cater for breastfeeding or pumping mothers is very important.

“FreeToFeedCP is such an exciting initiative that we want to grow in the community. We hope it will help families feel confident and ‘free to feed’ wherever they are.”

For more details of FreeToFeed locations, including an interactive map, and how businesses can sign up to the pledge, visit the FreeToFeed page on the council’s website.

East Cambridgeshire locations

  •  Ely Child and Family Centre - High Barns, Ely, CB7 4RB
  • Ely Library – 6 The Cloisters, Ely, CB7 4ZH
  • Ely Wildwood - 15 High Street Ely CB7 4LQ
  • Littleport Child and Family Centre - Littleport Community Primary School, Parsons Lane, Littleport, CB6 1JT
  • Marmalade and Jam Food Coffee Cake - 27 High St, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4LQ
  • Peacocks Tearoom – 65 Waterside, Ely, CB7 4AU
  • Prosper - Richmond House, 16 - 18 Broad Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4AH
  • Soham Child and Family Centre - Pratt Street, Soham, Ely, CB7 5BH
  • Soham Library – 7 Clay Street, Soham, CB7 5HJ
  • Sophie's Afternoon Teas and Cakes - 8 Three Cups Walk, Forehill, Ely, CB7 4AN
  • The Yard by Silver Oak - 35A Newnham Street, Ely, CB7 4PG
  • Treetops – Unit 12, Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely, CB6 3NW