Rachelle is truly a dream volunteer!
“WE Breastfeed & Chestfeed is a great place for me to volunteer because I enjoy serving others, it is inclusive of my family and I love to learn. I find it is a very welcoming and supportive place to be, especially when I was struggling.” says Rachelle Sloot. “I feel appreciated as a volunteer and validated as a parent. I like to demonstrate to my children how they can serve the community and how to be compassionate.”
From the moment she started as a participant, Rachelle Sloot has been a huge part of the WE Breastfeed & Chestfeed program. She is non-judgmental, very welcoming and always quick to notice a parent sitting alone. “Although she is quiet by nature Rachelle is not shy to approach other parents and strike up a conversation.” says Nicole Barrette, WE Breastfeed & Chestfeed program coordinator.
WE Breastfeed & Chestfeed program is free and open to all new or expecting parents in Guelph. Trained volunteers provide infant feeding help, reassurance, or just an open ear through telephone support and in group sessions. WE Café used to run every Friday at the downtown library but quickly pivoted in March to offering an online café instead. Peer support is inclusive and available in many languages other than English.
Rachelle facilitates many Friday cafes at the regular downtown Guelph Public Library and online. She has taken lead along with another volunteer, to establish a regular WE Café visit to the Shelldale Centre which has allowed for further reach and support into a neighbourhood that has many new parents, increasing breastfeeding and chestfeeding rates in our community.
Her regular attendance at both groups has built her into the community as a friendly face that parents recognize as a helper. She also recruits new volunteers and is assisting with virtual training for the newest group of Peer volunteers as an amazing role model. Many parents have found the WE Breastfeed & Chestfeed program through her efforts in promoting this service.
Rachelle shared an exciting moment when she went into labour after the first day of her training and felt blessed to have been taught so many things about breastfeeding and chestfeeding that she could use right away. Rachelle’s baby was only 4 days old when she returned to finish training! Rachelle has taken lots of extra training since then and participated as a volunteer at several Guelph Community Health Centre events.
“She is truly a dream volunteer!” says Nicole. “Her gentle ability to lift others up by exchanging stories and offering suggestions when challenges arise is an amazing gift that we are lucky to have on our team. She provides exactly what it takes to create the change we need to see in normalizing nursing and human milk.”
Learn more about the WE Breastfeed & Chestfeeding program and the work of the Guelph Community Health Centre visit guelphchc.ca/we-breastfeed