Charity provides essential service for mothers

Abbey Fouche, centre, and her team are providing an essential box for those in need. Photo supplied.

A not-for-profit charity is working hard to provide essentials to women and their families during lockdown.

The Mums Clique Charity is an approved essential social service providing boxes of essentials to people around the country, including east Auckland, who are struggling through lockdown.

Mother-of-four Abbey Fouche, the founder and chief executive, established the charity in June 2019 and has been volunteering ever since.

Fouche started the charity after facing numerous challenges.

“I had my child at [age] 18 and was in a domestic violence relationship,” she says.

“I then met my now husband and had premature twins. My final child was born with a heart defect and an array of allergies.”

She quickly noticed the lack of support available for mums.

“Especially as a whole if you didn’t fit a specific box, i.e. mental health or domestic violence.”

She told the Times she was surprised there wasn’t a non-profit in New Zealand with a primary focus of creating communities for every mum.

Fouche then decided to create one herself.

“The Mums Clique is the first New Zealand charity to provide a holistic wrap-around support service,” she says.

“I strongly believe that if every mother is okay then her children and family will be too.”

The charity’s essential service box is individually packed according to what each mum and her family needs. Items can include nappies, wipes, formula, bottles, breastfeeding supplies such as nipple creams or pads, baby food, vitamins, pregnancy tests, vitamins, baby clothing and blankets.

The public has the ability to self-refer or be referred by a family member or friend.

The charity asks for help covering the $16 cost of shipping and handling.

“If the family is not able to cover this cost, we do what we can to get the cost covered so we are able to provide the box free of charge,” Fouche says.

“Or you can get a professional to refer you.”

This could be a social worker, doctor, maternal mental health nurse, a Plunket worker or a counsellor.

The charity delivers the boxes nationwide.

It’s been an essential social service since the first lockdown.

As of March 2021, 716 families were helped at an estimated cost of $61,000.

Outside of lockdown, the charity supports about 500 families a month with essential items via assistance boxes.

It also provides a 24/7 support group on Facebook called “The Mums Clique Chat”.

The online community of mothers is now just shy of 40,000 women.

“We provide counselling and events to facilitate friendships across the country,” Fouche says.

“We aim to offer an array of educational and informative blogs, CPR/infant first aid courses, women’s self defence courses and free downloadable resources for mums.

“The Mums Clique strongly believes every mother is entitled to help if and when they need it.”

To get an essential box, go to www.themumsclique.org.nz and click “ask for help”.