Our vision, mission and brief history
The Nest Southwest is a not-for-profit, social enterprise, community interest company set up to support women and girls through the major life transitions of menstruation, pregnancy & birth and menopause.
Our Vision & Mission
Our vision is to live in a world where women and girls feel empowered and fulfilled at each stage of their life. We want to be part of creating a cohesive society where these rites of passage are honoured as gateways of personal development as well as biological milestones.
Our mission is to provide emotional & educational support, improving well-being & self-esteem to enable peer mentoring and increased wellbeing. We support women and girls through menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, to post-menopause.
We believe in intersectional feminism by promoting gender justice and racial justice. We are anti-racist and pro-trans rights. We believe in equality for all women and girls everywhere.
We offer compassionate peer support, and providing a safe, nurturing environment to explore emotional & physical literacy as we traverse these gateways. There is no right or wrong way to go through these gateways, they are as individual as we are. But we don’t have to do it alone.
What a different place our world will be if we felt supported, connected and respected as we welcomed ourselves to the next stage of life!
The seeds of this dream had been swirling for some years before finding a place to land. The Nest was officially registered as Community Interest company in October 2019 by Hazel Acland, Jodie Wilkerson and Nancy Osborne. Together they launched their first project in March 2020 just as the covid-19 pandemic was sweeping the world. Those plans quickly adapted to this new reality and became a weekly online wellbeing group to bring together pregnant and birthing people in the Exeter and East Devon area. The group is still running to this day. We will be growing in 2021 – we have big dreams!
Meet The Nest directors
Hazel is a doula, childbirth educator, author and women’s circle facilitator. She trained as a doula & childbirth educator in 2011 and is registered as a practising doula by the national organisation, Doula UK. She is also Doula UK’s representative in the European Doula Network (2015 to present). Her 2016 book The Birth Path is used to explain the undisturbed process of labour and birth. She regularly hosts workshops relating to women’s rites of passage, nature connection and peer support.
Jodie is a breastfeeding peer support lead and antenatal educator. After having her own children, Jodie trained as a breastfeeding peer supporter in 2010, volunteering at her local Children’s Centre. In 2012 Jodie began working for the Children’s Centre running the breastfeeding support group, managing the peer support volunteers, running antenatal classes in partnership with the community midwifery team, and developed and facilitated new parent groups alongside the health visiting team. In 2014, she began training breastfeeding peer supporters. Jodie has completed courses in Safeguarding Children and Domestic Abuse and Violence.
Nancy is a chartered physiotherapist, yoga teacher and massage therapist with a specialist interest in women’s health and well-being. Since having her own children Nancy realises the importance of continued community support and reaching out when in need. Nancy’s physiotherapy background lies in the management of acute and complex long term neuromuscular conditions, as well as general musculoskeletal pain including lower back pain and pelvic girdle dysfunction. She currently teaches yoga in a group as well as a 1-1 setting, applying her physiotherapy knowledge to restore, reconnect and relax. She also provides private individual physiotherapy consultations and massage treatments and has delivered workshops in sleep, functional anatomy and persistent pain management.