The Village People
Leah Lewin – Founder, Educator & Doula
I am the founder of this fabulous village. I have been battling with my stage 4 endometriosis for 18 years. Despite being told I was infertile at 17 and that I would not be able to conceive a child naturally and independently, I am now the proud mother of 4 children (one of which is my stepson). I am also a military wife so have faced many issues along my journey.
My vision for OBS was born from a need that was not being fulfilled by any other available services. When I started to open-up to others, I found I wasn’t alone, and many other mothers were facing similar challenges. I began working to educate myself on resources and skills that could alleviate the difficulties and offer support to others.I have undertaken extensive training to ensure that I have the ability to provide quality, supportive, educational and evidence based OBS sessions and services.
From CBT to sleep, perinatal fitness to breastfeeding, birth doula to advanced nutrition and much more. My aim is to ensure women and birthing people are nurtured, nourished and fully supported as a bare minimum of essential care..
Vanisha Virgo - Co Director, Doula
Hi I’m Vanisha Virgo
I’m the second daughter out of 4 girls, I’m a Capricorn, I’m a mother of 1 born child but a mother figure to many
I love food, growing it, learning all about it and most importantly eating it. I also love learning about natural remedies and herbs
I am a Doula/birth worker as well as a trained baby wearing and breastfeeding peer supporter and I am also a childcare professional with over 25 years in childcare and education.
My work in childcare and my work experiences has covered work in nurseries, playgroups, as well as work as a nanny and also as maternity nurse.
During my years of work I have supported families in many capacities including overnight care as well as looking after children over a period of time sometimes including sole charge care whilst parents have been away.
I have also supported various different family dyads during their post natal/ post partum period.
As a Birth keeper/Doula and also in my role as a childcare practitioner I have supported families throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond, have helped them to understand that they have a voice and that they have the power, this is done by helping them to make fact based, fully informed decisions to meet their parenting goals.
Vikki-Kate Hamill – Supporter - Photographer
Hi! I’m Vikki-Kate and I’m a Family, Newborn and Birth Photographer. I live in Northamptonshire with my lovely husband, our two fluffy dogs and our gorgeous one year old girl, Luna.
I’ve been a professional photographer for ten years now, devoting a lot of that time to the wedding industry until I officially retired from photographing weddings at the end of 2019! As much as I loved my time in that world, my passion has always been with documenting families in their every day lives, so I decided to take the leap and dedicate all my time to shooting what I love the most, and I’ve never looked back!
Capturing people in their homes, their favourite places and spaces, it’s unlike anything else. And since becoming a Mother myself, my love of freezing those beautiful, fragile moments in time has only become even greater.
When I first learned about the OBS community I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it, as a new Mum there’s so much to navigate and every day can feel like you’re flailing, the importance of not just support but human connection is greater than ever. To have a team of women around you even to just say; “we see you, what do you need?” I honestly can’t think of a gift greater, so to be able to contribute to that in any way really feels amazing.
When it comes to family and newborn photography it’s often hard to know who to trust. You’re inviting someone around your most treasured people, into your home, into your life! Especially during a birth, having effectively a stranger by your side can be an incredibly vulnerable and daunting prospect, so to be recognised by this wonderful community as someone you can feel settled putting your confidence, investment and most importantly, trust in, is a wonderful honour.
I’m so excited to be a part of this community, not only for the support it provides to me as a first time Mum - but for the opportunity to get alongside more super-human women and document all of our imperfectly perfect, beautiful journeys into Motherhood together.
Hannah Feely - Book Keeper
Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m 21 years old. I’ve loved working with numbers since I was in school and over time has developed into me wanting to have a career in accountancy. I’ve studied bookkeeping levels 1 and 2 with Anglia professional training.
In my spare time, I love music, going on walks and travelling. I’m also very passionate about mental health.
Megan Atkins - Marketing Assistant
Hey, my name’s Meg. I’m 23 years old and joining The Village as a marketing Assistant.
I have a PGCE in Primary Education from Birmingham City University and a Degree in Psychology from the University of Winchester. I currently live at home with my mum, brother, and dog. Although I don’t yet have children of my own, I’ve always loved working with them. I have always loved volunteering, with organisations such as the local pre-school and I ran my school’s LGBT+ society.
In my free time, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, which I look forward to being able to use as part of my job. When I was a teenager a piece of my writing was included in the Electric Reads Young Writers’ anthology, making me the youngest person to be included. I particularly enjoy writing transformative fiction inspired by a variety of genres and media types.
Carola Kolbeck – Writer & Copywriter
Hello, my name is Carola and I am a writer, copywriter, teacher and occasional translator. As an immigrant in this country and mother of two small children, I know too well what it’s like to feel completely overwhelmed, exhausted and totally alone in those first few months and even years of motherhood. My journey as a Mama would have been a lot more difficult, had it not been for some fantastic ladies (and gentlemen!) who reached out, offered help and support and were incredibly kind when I needed it most. I am passionate about real kindness, integrity, humanity, acceptance and equality in every single way, for everyone. I am a huge believer in togetherness and solidarity and want to help empower those who need it most. Finally, my most favourite thing is the written word, in both my mother language and the love of my life, English, and I strive to capture life and its ups and downs on my blog www.chameleoninhighheels.com. However, I also write for others, when they struggle to find the right words. I look forward to getting to know this fabulous community created by the inspirational Leah and can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Valorie Sheldon Fowler - Clean Living Educator
Valorie Fowler is a mother of two young boys and a dog. In her journey to motherhood, she learned about the effects of toxins in the home environment. She is now passionate about helping families to detox their homes from dangerous chemicals. She’ll mentor you on how to use essential oils and natural products for a more back to basics, eco friendly way of living. She will help you find natural solutions for your and your family’s wellbeing.
Laura Bozman - Aromatherapist
Hi, my name is Laura – Mum of three energetic children. My youngest has just started school which has meant I can now focus on my own personal goals, as we all know that being a parent you tend to put others first. I originally trained as a holistic therapist but when I got married and had children that got put on the back burner, now with my youngest at school I have had the time to decide what I want to do and put my career first, I re-took my aromatherapist qualification. I have used essential oils for over 15 years and I believe that using essential oils provide great natural healing remedies, whether that be to relax, focus the mind or uplift. Becoming a qualified Aromatherapist, I have learnt how to create bespoke blends and I love working with people to find the right blend for them.