www.wpradio looks at post natal depression and empowerment

Women’s Parliamentary Radio

February 18th 2011
For immediate release

Www.wpradio.co.uk looks at how one Conservative MP is tackling an issue she’s passionate about through the Big Society, and we talk to a Peer about how she thinks investment in business is the right approach to women’s empowerment in India and Africa

Infant Early Attachment and The Big Society
Andrea Leadsom MP talks to Linda Fairbrother

One in ten mums suffer from post-natal depression. Now Andrea Leadsom the Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire is taking an issue close to her heart to launch a Northampton charitable venture, with patrons, donors and volunteers to provide perinatal mental health care for mothers and their babies. Andrea had a 25 career in banking and finance, and was a Trustee and Chairman of the children’s charity OXPIP ((the Oxford Parent-Infant Project), which offers intensive therapeutic help to parents and their babies in the first two years of life.

Andrea, who suffered from post-natal depression herself, believes that many of the problems our society faces can be traced back to poor early attachment. She’s already held a Westminster Hall Debate on Early Attachment and says her campaign to mainstream this issue into social policy has cross-party support. Andrea thinks that if her Big Society launch of the new Northamptonshire project is a success it could be a template to “role out” across Britain. She’s not contemplating failure despite the public sector cut-backs!
Andrea told Linda:

• “Early infant attachment really is my passion. In 2001 I had two children and was quite postnatally depressed after having had my first child. I had worked in a senior role in banking and was experiencing this radical change but I had a supportive family and health visitor and I went back to work and that snapped me out of it.”
• “One in ten mums suffer from post natal depression, and some families have far worse problems where the relationship with the baby suffers massively as a consequence.”
• “Between six and 18 months the baby experiences a massive growth of the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is not there when you are born and that grows as a result of a loving relationship. It is the social and empathetic part of the brain and it enables you to have the resilience to the things life throws at you and to meet disappointments. These pathways are laid down by the age of 2.”
• “The cycle of deprivation is the key to this, if you didn’t form a secure attachment when you were small that pattern is repeated and it becomes a cycle of deprivation that gets worse as you go down the generations.”
• “OXPIP – I was chairman from 2001 to 2009. We take referrals from families themselves, from health visitors, midwives and GPs and our therapists work with the family to help the mother to understand her fears and depression. It is a talking therapy and the results are astonishing, there is a once a week session, it’s very cheap £75 a week, versus the cost of a child on the child protection list and versus the cost of a chid that doesn’t form that early attachment in life.”
• “A number of front bench ministers are aware of the early attachment issue such as Iain Duncan Smith, and other MPs across party too like Graham Alan’s review on early intervention, and Frank Field. We want Sure Start children’s centres to provide perinatal mental health support services. In 2011 I am trying to launch a Northamptonshire parent infant project, working closely with the Director of Children’s Services there.”
• “I am hoping to start this Northamptonshire charity, with donors, volunteers and trustees to work with professionals from OXPIP, to document it as a template to roll this out across the country. I want to prove the value of it and to try and role it out nationally. Spending money on early prevention is a saving.”
• “From a hard headed financial point of view you would save a fortune by investing in early intervention. I am hoping that by the time we can look at a government role out the economic tide will be turning and certainly I am a huge fan of the Big Society and improving volunteering and this is a perfect example of how people can get involved in making the community around them a better place. This is not a party political issue.”

Linda Fairbrother meets: “The movers and shakers”
Baroness Shreela Flather, “Woman: Acceptable exploitation for Profit”.

Baroness Shreela Flather, the first Asian woman to receive a peerage, and known for wearing a sari, says her book “Woman: Acceptable exploitation for Profit” is meant to “tread” on a few toes by tackling the great taboo of children working for a living and the role of women in India and Africa. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Woman-Acceptable-Expoitation-Shreela-Flather/dp/1849950024

Baroness Flather says the United National Millennium Development Goals will not be met by the target date of 2015 and that only by shifting the focus to women themselves and enabling them through small business, technology and income generation can real progress be made. Family planning and education are key to harnessing their talents. Our http://www.wpradio.co.uk reporter Linda Fairbrother spoke to her.

“This House would not get Married!” – A Valentine’s day http://www.wpradio.co.uk Cambridge Union Society “partnership”

To celebrate Valentine’s Day http://www.wpradio.co.uk went to the Cambridge Union Debate “This House would not get Married”. Here William Longrigg, Partner at Charles Russell and President of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Winston Preece, a Cambridge student, speak in favour of the motion while our Advisory Board Member Anastasia de Waal, Deputy Director and Head of Family Policy at Civitas and Anne Atkins, Author, Journalist, Agony Aunt and supporter of Christian values speak against. The Debate was Chaired by Francesca Hill, of Trinity Hall. http://www.cus.org will tell you who won!!

Ugandan elections and the voice of an 81-year-old activist – Rhoda Kalema

Ugandans hold their presidential and parliamentary elections on February 18th. This election is just the second since 1986 in which opposition parties have been legally permitted to campaign and it has been relatively free of violence to date. But there are concerns about how public funds are being used, particularly to support the campaigns of the ruling National Resistance Movement, led by President Yoweri Museveni. President Museveni came to power in 1986, following a protracted rebellion. Here in this special interview from our archives Rhoda Kalema, the “Mother” of the Ugandan Parliament tells her story of imprisonment in Uganda before going on to become an MP herself and helping to set up a Commission to help women and their families. She talked to Boni Sones OBE.

A documentary from Rhoda’s book:”A Rising Tide”, made in conjunction with http://www.screen-space.co.uk which tells the histories of modern women politicians there from the 1940s through to the present time can be found on our International Section
Good luck Rhoda.

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2. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item. We have doubled our audience in a year. In July we published our Top Ten podcasts for that month. The top 8 all had over 100 downloads per podcast. Shirley Williams is hugely popular with 777 listeners to one podcast! The Oona King diaries are proving popular too.

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