No Kidding – an informal support network for staff who are Childless not by choice

Being Childless not by choice can be a difficult and isolating experience, which can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. There may be associated triggers in the workplace, such as dealing with new parent announcements.

Two members of the wellbeing champions network have worked with the University Staff Health & Wellbeing Manager to raise awareness. In September 2021, to coincide with World Childless Week, we co-wrote a blog reflecting on our experiences and on how to support others in the workplace.

We invite you to join an informal support network. You can join a private Teams group where you can read our stories, and where we will share useful resources and articles (your Teams membership will not be visible to others in the organisation). If you wish to you can join with others for regular meetings to connect with others, for support and to chat about your experiences.

Whilst the experience of childlessness is a very personal one and everyone has an individual journey, we have found it supportive to be able to connect with others in the workplace, reducing the sense of isolation. The No Kidding group is a space where members can share as much or as little as they feel comfortable with, where you can just meet with and listen to others if you prefer. The group guidelines will be kept under review with input from group members as the network grows, to make sure members feel safe and comfortable to connect in this space.

Express your interest in this informal group by emailing no-kidding@bath.ac.uk. This email address is managed by two members of the Wellbeing Champions network. Enquiries will be treated in confidence. We will respond with more details of the Teams group and regular meetings so you can decide if the group is a good fit for you. Please do ask if you have any questions.