AFTER 30 years of supporting thousands of parents, a breastfeeding counsellor was celebrated at a farewell party.

Jennie Gavin, 60, has retired from the Winchester branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) having spent three decades helping mums breastfeed their babies.

Past and present colleagues and parents she’s helped along the way celebrated the counsellor with a retirement party at The Queen Inn in St Cross on Thursday, January 11.

During the pandemic, the NCT was unable to continue its breastfeeding drop-ins at its usual base at Lanterns Nursery so the pub, in Kingsgate Road, allowed Jennie and her colleagues to use its outdoor space to keep the service going.

READ MORE: Winchester NCT breastfeeding counsellor retiring after 30 years

Hampshire Chronicle: Jennie (right) enjoying her partyJennie (right) enjoying her party (Image: Winchester NCT)

Jennie, who lives in Twyford, said: “It was really good to be back at The Queen Inn to celebrate my retirement, it was a lovely farewell.

“I was joined by colleagues, a good number of breastfeeding counsellors from across Hampshire, many of whom I trained, and then other health professionals who I have worked with on various projects over the years too. I’ve run the drop-ins for 17 years and we had some members of the public there who had fought to keep us open.

“I was given a beautiful book in which many parents had written messages in. It was so nice to go through it. I can still picture an awful lot of those parents.

“I’m leaving at a really good time – the NCT committee is really strong and they work so well together. We’ve just been given another lottery grant to keep the drop-ins running for another year. I walk away seeing a really bright future which means everything to me. With the NHS cutbacks its especially important to have these services.”

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Hampshire Chronicle: Jennie GavinJennie Gavin (Image: Winchester NCT)

Bryony Farrant, branch coordinator, said: “The party had such a celebratory mood. There are so many people who have had the pleasure of working with Jennie so everybody was really keen to honour her contributions and see her off in style.

“She’s been really important in making breastfeeding accessible for families that might otherwise be hard to reach. She has done so much for the local community and so many people wanted to be able to thank her.

“Jennie is so loved, she can’t walk down the road without being recognised. We have been inundated with thank you messages by parents who remember her.”

BABIES breastfeeding counselling service is run by NCT counsellors and volunteers and is free to use. It's held at Lanterns Children's Centre in Bereweeke Road, Winchester every Wednesday from 9.30am to midday. Booking is not required. For more information email