Covid lockdowns were hard for everyone. In early 2021, research and conversations with partners was telling us that new parents were being majorly affected, with mums experiencing high rates of isolation, poor mental health and other social factors. Becoming a new mum is a time when the support of family, friends and other mums is critical, providing top tips, respite and just social time with other adults. Many of the usual network groups and support weren’t available during the pandemic so Peterborough Presents teamed up with Murmuration Arts to try and find creative ways to support new parents. Friends from CPSL Mind were on hand to offer advice and support to any mums that might be struggling during the pandemic.
Lullaby for Peterborough started as a series of online workshops with mums from across Peterborough exploring wellbeing through singing & song-writing. It’s known that singing can help develop strong bonds and have a strong positive impact on wellbeing for both the mum and the baby. Over a period of 6 weeks, both in Spring and Autumn 2021, mums met on zoom, sang together, shared stories of their births, talked about how their babies were developing and about places they liked to visit with their little ones. One mum taught the other mums how to use British Sign Language to perform Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Laura and Marion from Murmuration Arts worked with the mums to develop their stories into lines for a new lullaby they could sing to their new borns. They also created some ‘affirmations’ – something to start they day on a positive note. These were printed up and posted to all participants.
As well as getting creative, singing and song writing, the workshops allowed new mums to meet and share experiences. They learned and shared self-care techniques, thinking about places they could go near to where they live to feel calm, happy, and peaceful, a place of nature or peacefulness, or starting the day with an affirmation or some gratitude.
In June 2021 we held a small online party for the mums and tots involved, sharing a sneak preview of the lullaby that was in production. Party packs were circulated to all the families involved which provided party decorations, snacks and messages of wellbeing.
Workshops continued online in Autumn 2021 to create a fully developed ‘Lullaby for Peterborough’.
Lullaby for Peterborough Premiere
Lullaby for Peterborough, performed by 3 singers in harmony, was premiered at a special afternoon at the MiniVine on Bridge St, Peterborough in October 2021. Mums, Dads and Grandparents from across the city attended with their babies and little ones and joined in the singing and dancing. The film above shows extracts of the event, shots on locations around Peterborough and additional shots of the mums who took part with their little ones.
Lullaby for Peterborough was co-written in collaboration with local Peterborough Mothers Annabel Lloyd, Hannah Smith, Bex Bridges, Kursty Morrison and composer Laura Wright.
Workshop facilitators: Laura Wright, Luan Taylor and Marion Duggan
Singers: Cate Ferris, Faye Houston, Laura Luard.
Videography: Rosie Powell