Maternity Mates provide practical and emotional support to pregnant women.

Please click here for further information.

Support starts from the 5th month of pregnancy, through to birth and the early weeks of motherhood.

Maternity Mates "Stories of Encounters" Booklet - download your copy here


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Volunteers are at the heart of the way WHFS (Women’s Health & Family Services) delivers our health programmes.  Most of our projects, like our flagship Maternity Mates and FGM /C (female genital mutilation /cutting) programmes, are provided by community volunteers. 

We value your life experience and skills, not just academic qualifications.  WHFS has a long history of supporting and developing our volunteers, whatever their aspiration and needs.  Some of our volunteers have been supporting our projects for several years, with many going on to further study or jobs within the health sector.

All our community volunteers receive:

  • FREE, and in the case of Maternity Mates, accredited training
  • One-to-one support: we seek to support each volunteer individually, so they can not only contribute their skills and experience to their community, but can also gain valuable experience and work opportunities where these are sought
  • Out of pocket expenses for travel
  • Certificate of attendance and reference provided (for people who volunteer for at least the minimum period required for the project)

In 1981 WHFS began working in Tower Hamlets - we now work across several east London boroughs and are actively expanding our reach.  If you’re a local person who shares our values and is looking for a rewarding volunteering role, we’d love to hear from you.

Current community volunteer opportunities include:

Maternity Mates

A Maternity Mate is a female volunteer trained to provide emotional and practical support to women in need of extra support during pregnancy, childbirth and the early weeks of motherhood. WHFS provides accredited training to Level 3 with the London Open College Network (OCN), which also counts as 9 points towards the Access to Midwifery course, Doula Skills & Breastfeeding Support Level 3.  Maternity Mates works in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest.

Please click here for further information.

WHFS Development Volunteers

We regularly have one-off project opportunities for volunteers to support the development of WHFS (for example, via research, copywriting, photography, film-making, IT support, etc) and are constantly on the lookout for enthusiastic local professionals and students who share our passion to empower women, and their families, to lead healthy lives. 

Please click here for further information.

FGM /C Volunteer Peer Supporters

WHFS works with communities in Tower Hamlets who are affected by FGM /C (female genital mutilation /cutting).  We raise awareness amongst both men and women of the negative health effects, as well as supporting women who have undergone (or who are at risk of) this debilitating practice.  WHFS staff and volunteers working on FGM /C projects come from practising communities and speak Somali and/or Arabic.

WHFS has had an overwhelming response to our recruitment for volunteer Peer Supporters, and we currently have a waiting list for these roles.  We hope to train more Peer Supporters in 2017, and so please contact us if you would like to get involved.  Peer supporters are trained in safeguarding, confidentiality and befriending, and play an important role in supporting women to gain access to health services.

Please click here for further information.


               1FirstCashAdvance Maternity Support