#WĀHINEWEDNESDAY: Tayla Jane Nasmith
Providing much needed necessities for struggling mothers in Aotearoa
As a teenager, Tayla Jane Nasmith founded ‘Mummys in Need,’ a not for profit organisation that provides material aid for families struggling in hardship with babies under two. Her organisation works closely with WINZ, NZ Police, Family Success Matters, Family Start, Plunket and many midwives and social workers. Tayla has a big heart for others, which led to the creation of her organisation. She saw a need and decided to fill-it.
Beyond her full-time role at ‘Mummys in Need’, Tayla has two much-loved siblings, is a dog-lover, and is passionate about all things Italian. We were so inspired to hear how this outward-focused, empathetic, determined and hard-working young woman has blessed so many struggling mothers in her community.
You’ve had a hard day ‘at the office’, how do you relax and recover?
Generally, I would go and hang with friends or head to the gym. I am extremely passionate about health and fitness and I really believe in the benefits of it, especially for stress relief. To complete my ‘relax and recover’ routine, I would then go home and curl up on the couch with some dinner and a funny movie!
What’s your favourite family tradition - past or present?
As a child, Santa never left presents under the tree, he always left them at the end of our bed. Waking up on Christmas morning was so exciting, as we would just have to look down the end of the bed to see that Santa had come!
You have to listen to a song on repeat for an indefinite amount of time - what would it be?
100% One Direction’s, ‘Half a Heart’, or ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train! It’s a close tie between those two!
From a young age, you had a passion to help others. This passion led to the eventual creation of your not-for-profit organisation: ‘Mummys in Need’.
Could you briefly share with us a key moment/s that led to the creation of this amazing organisation?
I think the biggest one was knowing there were children around me that didn’t have everything they needed from a young age.
I was so blessed to have everything I needed and more, but I could see that this was not the case for many other people.
There were a few defining moments and one of these includes when, about 9 months into ‘Mummys in Need’, my 16 year old sister fell pregnant. This showed me what I really needed to provide for mothers out there. Another time would be when I decided to pursue ‘Mummys in Need’ full-time. It just grew and grew and grew, consequently, I'm so proud to now call it my full-time job!
Did watching your sister navigate life, as a new teenage mum, spur more passion for your business? And what has aunty-life been like so far?
Oh 100%, as I saw her struggles first-hand. I would help her to buy things that she needed because, at the time, I was the babysitter and was booked just about every night. She was actually pretty lucky because she had so much support around her, but she still did struggle. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for another mother, without that family network providing practical help. The families I meet on a day-to-day basis just break my heart because their support system is basically non-existent! But yes, my sister being pregnant so young was a really defining area for Mummys in Need.
I love being an aunty, it's like a new love I never thought possible!
What have been some challenges you’ve faced, running or creating this organisation?
There have been so many! I have definitely struggled with being so young. I was never taken seriously by those who would hear about my desire and ambition for my organisation. I felt like no one understood how much I cared about this organisation because I had never had children, so people often assumed I couldn’t possibly understand what it is that mothers are going through or need! But, for 8 years, I have seen and heard heartbreaking stories and they all affect me! On this note, a big struggle for me has been keeping all of my emotions intact. It can be so emotionally draining for someone so young to see so many awful things and to also accept that I can't help everyone. It took me so long to accept that I couldn't help every single person, no matter how much I wanted to!
People now take me more seriously and I would say my biggest struggle currently is being able to keep volunteers in the centre. I am working on how I can pay people, so that we can always be helping people, as opposed to whenever my wonderful volunteers can spare time!
Has there been a memorable moment where it’s all felt worth the ‘blood, sweat and tears’?
There have been so many! The most recent one was when I was awarded the ASB Good as Gold award. Just that morning, I was crying about how I couldn't afford a new bigger shed for ‘Mummys in Need’ stock, then I walked down the stairs and met the ASB representatives. Meeting people that believed in what I was doing was absolutely insane and so encouraging.
Another memorable moment was when we finalised getting the premises we are in now. I had dreamed of having a place to run ‘Mummys in Need’ from the age of 12, and for this to become a reality was unbelievable! I spent so many nights just crying with happiness about what I had achieved, and all because of the people that have supported me and my dream.
Lastly, Can you share with us who has been a part of your support network so far?
I have three key people that stand out for me. Firstly, my boyfriend as he was the person in my life that always said I can do it, and would just know what to say when things weren't going right! Then there would be my dad who, from the get-go, supported me in every decision I made and always said I could do it, even when mum wanted me to get a job because it was a more stable option income wise! Dad is very wise and whenever I am struggling, he always knows how to help change my view of a situation.
Then there would be my mum, she has also been supportive and would drive me around everywhere, and do all the washing and everything in the beginning stages. Nowadays, she is still involved, but she has her own life too!
Another person would be my philanthropic sponsor, who believes in me and has made so much of this possible! Ooops I'm getting into five, but the last one would be my faith. It's so clear to me that this is what I am meant to be doing and, although it's taken me a while to realise that, I know it's exactly where God wants me!
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