Two years ago I set up a Facebook page called The Parent Platform which is a community interest company, 
run by me and other professional volunteers who provide frequent Facebook live Q&A directly to parents throughout the UK in the comfort of their own home. 

We currently have doing live Q&A’s for parents at 8pm weekday evenings are: 

A Midwife & Hypnobirthing Specialist
A Health Visitor & First Aid Trainer 
An Infant Feeding Specialist
A Baby/Child Sleep Consultant
A Women’s Physiotherapist 
An Emotional Wellbeing Coach 
A Personal Trainer & Nutritionalist
A Self Employment Accountant 
A Pregnancy to 1000 day E-Learning Specialist
 
We have had up to 34,000 viewers in the month and we have over 6,000 following on Facebook. 
 
During the world wide coronavirus pandemic we have added daytime events for the children, such as, An Early Years Educator to demonstrate to parents ideas of learning through creative play. We also provide a free resource for parents to support further creative home learning.  
 
We have recently added a Virtual Character Experiences saying hello to the children and passing on a message from their parents, both daytime events also have been popular.  
 
We are all volunteers, the specialist doing the Facebook live Q&A’s and me managing the page. I had very poor health advice when I was pregnant and in new motherhood. I felt “fobbed off” by the health professionals and decided to hire many private services to get the answers. In one incident my daughter was misdiagnosed by the hospital and NHS Infant Feeding Practitioners as she had severe tongue-tie and had faltering growth which made her constantly hungry and crying for the first 10 weeks of her life.
 
Our collective determination to keep this page going was in the hope we could help others like me who wasn’t getting the answers from health professionals and to also raise awareness of these private independent services to those that can afford an personal individual professional service. I wish I had been told when I was a new mum that I could hire an Infant Feeding Specialist etc. to come to my home and find out why my newborn was crying when feeding instead of having to attend (whilst sleep deprived) every infant feeding session I could in a 20 mile radius for 10 weeks! 
 
This page has filled the gaps health services do not provide and has given our parents the advice & information directly online without waiting weeks on a waiting list to see a specialist. Unregulated online peer advice can also give new parents incorrect and sometimes dangerous advice, we’ve all heard horror stories. 
 
Now, in the current coronavirus crisis parents need to know about this online page more than ever. This free service to more parents as this has been called a “lifeline” and other positives words in our 62 Facebook reviews but we would like to reach out to more pregnant and new parents. 
 
We also get business support from the Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University and they have helped me recently apply for funding to continue and expand the free service we offer to encompass the whole parenting journey. 
It would be great to raise awareness of the Parent Platform and to ask all parents to like, follow and share the free page to reach as many UK parents as we can. 
 
Photo below is of some specialist doing their live Q&A’s and answering parents questions. 
Kim Brown – Health Visitor
Amanda Wardle – Midwife 
Shel Banks – Infant Feeding Specialist
Linked to this I also run a Covid-19 Parent Group Uk on Facebook which currently provides parents with what they need to know during this pandemic…with a bit of humour too! 

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