Sarah Cowling CEO

Everyone has choices but taking responsibility to make good choices can be harder for some than for others – we can help!

Volunteering for the ‘Breast’ start in life!

Melisa Maida Breastfeeding Volunteer


Melisa Maida 35 year old mum to her son Ori aged 8 months, is embarking on her first volunteer project by hosting a Big Latch On event in Newcastle.

Melisa from Heaton, originally from Argentina and who also has Czech heritage, is inviting others to take part in the event at Jesmond Dene, Newcastle, 6 August at 9:30–12:30, meeting at the grassed area by Pets Corner.

The celebration is part of a global event where groups of breastfeeding women come together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time.

Melisa recently completed training to become a Newcastle Breastfeeding Peer Support volunteer supported by Healthworks Newcastle. Healthworks, a local charity, employs Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinators (funded via Public Health) to support mums like Melisa, who are keen to pass on the values of Breastfeeding to others in the community.

Melisa says “ I struggled with breastfeeding at first and was about to give up, but I received lots of support. Now I think it’s the most amazing experience and it’s strengthened the bond I have with Ori. I‘d just like to offer the help I received to other mums to help them overcome any of the challenges I faced. Breastfeeding should be seen as natural and the norm, especially in public. People who are expressing can join in and be counted and we’d like to encourage pregnant women to come along too!”

Last year 14889 children latched on around the globe and this year we hope to beat this number

Melisa has set up a facebook event page to let people know how they can be part this worldwide event.

Other Big Latch On events taking place in the north are all being staged at 10.30am on 5 and 6 August For more information visit


Notes to editor

The Big Latch on aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding families by:

  • Provide support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide on-going breastfeeding support and promotion in local communities
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available locally and globally
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places
  • Make breastfeeding as normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed – women are supported by their partners, family and their communities
  • Ensure communities have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services

HealthWORKS Newcastle is a registered charity, Patron: Professor Sir Michael Marmot, contact: Barbara Cage Information and Communications Senior Manager 0191 272 4244


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