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The walking revolution

A mother is something that cannot be easily defined - a caregiver, best friend, an occasional chauffeur? The list is endless. Not only does motherhood shape the life of a child, but it also shapes the very essence of the mother herself, and for Kayleigh Laverick, this was no exception. During a turning point in her life, stemmed from a moment of suffering, the Peterlee native reached out to her Facebook friends. Little did she know that one social media post would change the trajectory of her life and career.

Trigger Warning: Mention of suicide

Mamma Social Co is a community that brings parents together, providing a supportive network for those who need it through walks, events, partnerships and social media. Here, Kate Hewison speaks to founder Kayleigh about the brand, its inception and the importance of mental health support for parents.

“The way that Mamma Social started, it was never a business, it was a way to get me from not jumping off a cliff”

Kayleigh Laverick began feeling isolated following the traumatic birth of her second child. She suffered from postnatal depression and PTSD, and ultimately contemplated taking her own life. During a walk in her local area, the only thing that stopped her from taking that step was the fact she was with her newborn daughter and didn’t have a place to leave her.

She says: “If she wasn’t attached to me, I wouldn’t be here right now. Because I was looking at where to put her, so she could be found.

“I just continued to walk, went home and had a eureka moment when I walked in the house.

“I thought, ‘what have I just nearly done?’

Leaving a four-year-old, a newborn, my husband, my family, all these people? I knew I wasn’t alright to walk alone anymore.”

  • Kayleigh Laverick – founder of Mamma Social Co


Following the events of that day, Kayleigh knew it was time to take action.

She says: “That night, I told my husband how I was feeling, and got some steps in place.

“I posted on Facebook that I was going for a walk at a certain time and location, if anybody was struggling with parenting.

“Nine mams turned up the next day – I didn’t know anybody.

“Five of those mams are still instrumental in my life and in Mamma Social.”

Kayleigh quickly recognised the demand for a community like this was huge – not just for her – but for parents everywhere.

In January 2023, three months after the first walk, Mamma Social Co was born.

Kayleigh’s warmth and passion is so incredibly clear from the moment you meet her. There are no ulterior motives, it’s not a money-making scheme or an off-the-cuff idea – this is something she was destined to do.

Now, with 16,000 members and counting, the community is growing every single week.

Kayleigh, her team and the 52 parent lead volunteers organise walks and events across the country, from Scotland all the way to Hampshire.

Kayleigh says: “I’ll never ever be able to meet all the women, or go to all the walks that we’ve created.

“But I know that moment has shaped not just my life, but so many people’s lives and changed the landscape of parenthood too.

“I truly believe the isolation and loneliness I felt wasn’t due to a lack of people – it was the lack of likeminded people.”

Over the past year, the simple act of walking with others has transformed into a nationwide network that has one clear purpose – helping parents.

For Kayleigh, this is what she believes makes Mamma Social Co so game-changing.

She says: “There’s a reason that therapists do walking therapy with their clients; it’s because somebody is much more honest when they don’t look in somebody’s eyes.

“Sometimes you don’t want to be fixed. You just want to be heard. You want to be heard as a mam without judgement”

Its rapid growth not only highlights the absolute necessity of networks like Mamma Social Co, but also makes evident the lack of free and accessible services for new parents.

Kayleigh says: “We get asked all the time if we’d charge a membership fee, but it’s always going to be a ‘no’.

“It should be for everybody, not just people who have money.”

“Looking at our business model, we build our community to sell to our community.

“But we’re not selling a product.

“The objective is to combat isolation and loneliness.

“Statistics show 85 per cent of parents identify as being lonely, and 42 per cent identify as being isolated in the first year of parenthood.

“There are 19 million parents in the UK – does that mean 16 million people are identifying as being lonely?

“Why are we not doing more for the loneliness gap that we feel in parenthood?”

Although she will never charge a membership fee, to keep the business running and growing, Kayleigh partners with likeminded brands which share the same mission as Mamma Social Co.

She says: “We partner with brands that change the landscape for parenthood in a positive way.

“There’s a ton of great marketing out there for the worst products, ones that make parents feel rubbish.

“We don’t want to be worrying that ‘I haven’t bounced back’ or ‘I’m not back in size ten jeans’, and make me feel like I’m doing something wrong.

“We want to showcase and celebrate the brands that enhance this landscape instead of capitalising on them”

Last year, Kayleigh launched Mamma Social Fest, a huge, sold-out 1000-person event, with guest speakers and sponsors that included John Lewis, Tommee Tippee and Pretty Mama.

The purpose was to highlight brands and businesses in the local area that will help parents on their journey and, most importantly, are accessible for everyone.

Kayleigh says: “I think there’s social responsibility from brands out there to support organisations that encourage development and support and growth in the community.

“The return-to-work stats for mothers are so low, and a lot of that is because of their mental health.

“There’s a duty of care for all of the business world to support initiatives like this”

From a musical theatre teacher to trailblazer in the parenting industry, Kayleigh has defied the odds to create a national, innovative community that celebrates mothers, fathers and caregivers across the country.

Through its rapid growth and partnership opportunities, Mamma Social Co has created a welcoming, non-judgemental network for its members, all completely free of charge.

From the gender pay gap and lack of women in decision-making rooms, to the lack of mental health resources, the world is changing, and the challenges parents face are evolving.

It’s vital for businesses, therefore, to recognise these shifts and lend their support to initiatives like Mamma Social Co, to ultimately contribute to a more equitable and healthy society.


Mamma Social Podcast

April 17, 2024

  • Feature

Created by Kate Hewison