MORE THAN 40 YEARS OF SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES IN BELGIUM.
The history of the BCT starts all the way back on 16 June 1978 with an announcement in The Bulletin, an English-language magazine based in Brussels, in which founding members, Sylvia McGinnis and Anne Coles invited 'women interested in all aspects of motherhood' to the first meeting of the Brussels National Childbirth Trust.
The famous Bulletin ad from 1978.
Founded as a chapter of the NCT, the Brussels National Childbirth Trust temporarily carried the name "Brussels' Members of the National Childbirth Trust" (BMNCT) before it was given the name it carries today: the Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT).
One of the first newsletters for members, explaining the origins of the organisation.
The first meeting was already very successful:
- 22 women signed up as members
- 7 women formed a steering committee (which today is the Board of Directors)
- 2 Mother and Baby clubs (postnatal groups) were set up.
The membership fee was £40.
The main goal of the organisation was providing support for pregnant couples who found themselves away from home and family and struggling in foreign language situations - something that was sorely missing at the time.
Initially, all meetings, groups, information talks and board meetings were held at member's houses, until a first venue was rented in Vossem (near Tervuren) in 1989.
In order to help train teachers who could provide prenatal classes outside of the UK, the BCT offered to establish an NCT-style Antenatal Teacher Training in Brussels that would be open to students from all over Europe.
Since 1990, the BCT successfully organised and hosted tutorials for the Antenatal Teacher Training, until the NCT course was changed in 2016, when all students were required to follow the course in the UK.
In 1996, the BCT moved from the old venue in Vossem, where pregnant couples had to climb up to the attic for classes, to a different venue with a ground floor space near public transport: Imagine in Wezembeek-Oppem, our playgroup centre for almost 25 years.
With our membership moving from the outskirts of Brussels toward the centre, the BCT also moved. In summer 2020, we welcomed our members at our new premises in Ixelles: The new BCT Clubhouse.