A GROUP of young mothers, who faced being made homeless after their usual base was ruled out, are relaunching in a new location.

Barnoldswick Breast Buddies offers a 'vital' support network to young mothers in West Craven and beyond.

But their home at a town primary school was withdrawn until a county councillor stepped in and offered the use of the Civic Hall, in Station Road.

Supporters now hope the group, which has attracted members from either side of the Lancashire and Yorkshire border, can go from strength to strength.

Group spokesman Charlotte Treitl-Fell said: “We have been going for around a year and used to meet up at the children’s centre at Gisburn Road school.

“But their funding has been cut so they had to rearrange their diary and unfortunately they couldn’t fit us into their schedule so we were delighted to move to the civic hall.”

Up to 17 mums regularly use turn up at the weekly sessions, not only coming from Barnoldswick and Earby, but Kelbrook and North Yorkshire villages.

She added: “It is a vital support for our members for a variety of reasons, not only just relating to breastfeeding, which is our main function.

“But we're talking about everything from weaning onto solid foods to buying clothes and all aspects of parenting.”

The group has already tried out the hall for size and will have their official relaunch on Tuesday, May 23.

County Cllr David Whipp said: “I was able to arrange accommodation in newly-refurbished rooms at the Civic Hall and asked about funding for the group as a freestanding organisation.

“Breast feeding gives babies a good start and the best prospects for a healthy life and I was keen to see the group continuing.

“I was delighted to secure health and wellbeing funding from the county council which will help fund accommodation and equipment and get the group on a firm financial footing.

“It was good fun seeing the toddlers and babies enjoying themselves and I wish the group all the best for the future.”

The group will continue to meet every Tuesday, between 1pm and 3pm. If it continues to attract extra members then it will consider offering more dates.

An estimated 74 per cent of women in East Lancashire will start off breastfeeding their baby, according to support group Birth in East Lancs (BEL).

“The first feed can be a wonderful time to feel close to your baby and give him or her your protective first milk,”said a BEL spokesman.

“Feeding is not only a source of nutrition, but also of love, comfort and reassurance between baby and mum.

“Responsive feeding, is about responding to your baby’s cues to feed.

"Responding to babies’ needs for comfort and food is hugely beneficial for brain development and makes for more confident toddlers.”

The breastfeeding group has an information-packed website at www.birthineastlancs.com.