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New natural parenting centre set to open in Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: May 11, 2013

By JACK MAIDMENT

INSPIRED:  Nicole Hastie has started Blue Skies Natural Parenting Centre & Café

INSPIRED: Nicole Hastie has started Blue Skies Natural Parenting Centre & Café

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A NATURAL parenting centre will take its first steps next month when it opens in Cheltenham.

Blue Skies Natural Parenting Centre & Café, based in Knapp Road, will be the first facility of its kind in the town when it opens next month.

The business has been set up by Nicole Hastie, the chair of trustees for Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network.

She hopes it will offer new mums and dads everything they and their children need for a great start in life.

There will be a creative play café, antenatal classes, hypnobirthing, babywearing, massage, yoga and storytelling, all provided by independent teachers and organisations like NCT – the UK's biggest parenting charity.

Massage

A professional treatment room is also being installed offering a relaxed, private therapy space for massage, osteopathy and reflexology.

Meanwhile, a shop will sell ethically sourced slings, carriers, cloth nappies, clothes, toys, books and accessories from pregnancy through to primary aged children.

Nicole has been working with hundreds of parents in and around Cheltenham for half a decade and she felt now was the time to create a permanent venue which will benefit the town.

She said: "I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of parents in my various roles during the past five years and I've realised that parents who come to a breastfeeding or sling support group are also reaching out to find social settings to meet new friends and enjoy their early years with their babies and children.

"This inspired me to create what I believe will be the first natural parenting centre of its kind in Gloucestershire."

When searching for a creative play space to take her own children to, Nicole found the nearest cafes were in Cardiff or Bristol.

"I could see this was something that would be really enjoyed by Cheltenham families with young babies and toddlers," she said.

"So far the positive reception I've received from local parents has been overwhelming".

She added: "We also hope to develop additional services including beauty treatments, children's haircuts, after school and school holiday activities for older children, birthday parties and the opportunity for home schooling, special needs and youth groups to use the facilities."

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