A MUM-AND-BABY friendly cafe has become the first coffee shop in Hartlepool to be granted a golden breast-feeding award.
The Place In The Park cafe, set within the grounds of Ward Jackson park, in Hartlepool, has always been in support of breast-feeding mums.
And its support has not gone unnoticed.
Its efforts have seen the popular eaterie given a gold breast feeding award by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
The establishment’s owner Maria Harrison was shocked and delighted to be handed the accolade by Annie Wallace, the infant feeding lead at the trust.
Maria told the Mail: “We have been given a gold certificate for breast-feeding which has been presented to us.
“We are the first coffee shop to be offered the gold award and we’re delighted.
“We feel quite proud that we’ve become the first coffee shop to be awarded this by the trust.
“It’s basically to let people know that we welcome breast feeding mums.
“We also offer them private accommodation if they are a bit nervous or private about doing it in public.
“If they’re quite confident then they’re free to breast feed their babies in the coffee shop.”
She added: “We’ve never said no to breast-feeding really.
“The Breast-feeding Federation used to hold some conferences in park and used to ask me if I had a problem with it, but, of course, I didn’t.
“The park is full of babies and breast-feeding is such a natural act for mothers and babies.
“It’s nice that they can be out and about and there has not be an issue.”
Mums who would prefer some privacy to feed their babies can use the coffee shop’s afternoon tea room.
The cafe also offers twice weekly play groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The sessions are held from 9.15am until 11am.