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Live Webchat with Lauren Laverne on Oxfam's Mother Appeal, Thursday 30 January 2 - 3PM

(80 Posts)
KateHMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-Jan-14 16:34:20

We're delighted to announce that the legendary Lauren Laverne will be joining us for a webchat on Thursday 30 January in support of Oxfam's new Mother Appeal, which hopes to raise over £10 million. Oxfam says, 'the appeal aims to celebrate mums around the world by giving them the lift they need to empower their families and change the future.' Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the campaign coming up on Mumsnet over the next few weeks or to find out how you can get involved, go to

With a career spanning from 90s indie band Kenickie to broadcasting and journalism, Lauren has had a successful and varied on-screen career presenting TV shows from The Culture Show to Style on Trial and covering music events, including Glastonbury and The Mercury Prize. She now hosts a daily show on BBC 6 Music, is a fashion columnist for The Observer and a regular contributor for Red Magazine. We're very happy to welcome her to Mumsnet.

We hope you'll join us to talk about what we can do to help and support mothers worldwide, to lift them and their families out of poverty for good.


ItsATIARA Fri 31-Jan-14 20:30:24

Aw, wasn't she lovely.

Slightly double-takey that the person who asked her if she posted on MN was JustineMN [CONFUSED]. Surely if anyone knows exactly who everyone is it would be Justine? I imagined that she knew the sexual peccadillos, favourite deodorant and sleeping position of half the women in the country and has it flash up in her memory palace when she meets them like that bloke on Sherlock?

TheGirlWithTheArabStrap Thu 30-Jan-14 23:56:12

I'm the poster that used to be LaurenLaverne, mumsnet asked really nicely if I would let the real Lauren use my username. Glad to see Lauren is just as ace as I thought she would be! grin

ScienceRocks Thu 30-Jan-14 18:38:44

This is the first time I have had a question answered on a mn chat. And from the lovely Lauren Laverne too. This has made my day smile

marshmallowpies Thu 30-Jan-14 17:27:50

Thanks for answering my question Lauren! squee *does happy dance*smile

ViviPru Thu 30-Jan-14 15:46:02


<self flagellates>

KateHMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-Jan-14 15:17:40

Lauren's got to be off now sadly <weeps>, thank you all so much for your great questions!

MNHQ thanks

memagog Thu 30-Jan-14 15:14:11

Yey great news on the rumble!!! With bells on! I loved your rave show the other day total flashbacks xx

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 15:10:58

Guys I am going to see my lads. Thanks so much for the lovely chat! If you want to find out about/join in with Oxfam's Mother Appeal, all the info is at X

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 15:09:09


I am also struggling to think of a real question, but wanted to say that Lauren's radio show was a real life line to me when I was at home the first few months with my baby: I am not sure I could have got through it without her friendly voice as company!

I'm also an oxfam volunteer so here is my question: what's the most fabulous thing you've ever found in a charity shop? Or something you've donated & wish you'd hung onto?

Thank you so much for listening. Also - I just donated 70% of my wardrobe to Oxfam! It is being sold at Gemma Cairney's 'Rumble in the Jumble' in March. God help me! It was actually really freeing and brilliant to pass it all on, but I am somewhat mourning the size 6 (I mean WHAT THE ACTUAL F) Marc Jacobs dress that is a now. That had to go but I waved, plaintively.

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 15:06:49


Huge fan of Lauren Laverne here, since the early kenickie days (punka is still a favourite tune if mine to dance round the kitchen to).

Lauren, I am really pleased you are using her wellknownness (I hate the word celebrity) to such good ends. A campaign to end poverty in women worldwide is worthy indeed. A little closer to home, I wonder how you view the situation many women find themselves in after they have children, whereby they are the main caregiver and while they may work, it is often at a much lower rate than their partner. How can we stay financially independent at this time, and indeed how can we get back onto a financially indecent footing, having stepped off the full time career ladder in the interests of the family? This situation leaves many women trapped in abusive or unhappy relationships, leading to depression, anxiety and other problems in the longer term.

Thank you!

This is obviously a tough one. I work with Refuge as well as Oxfam and what they do to support women and children who have managed to escape abusive relationships (or are attempting to do so) is brilliant, but the amount of need is horrific. We need to help women (and men) experiencing the problems you mention, not just charities but the government, too. All of Oxfam's research shows that supporting vulnerable mothers is not only morally right but also of economic benefit! If they are helped financially the statistics show they will go on to bring up kids who can contribute a greater amount to their country's GDP.

VikkiMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-Jan-14 15:02:17


And if I can ask a cheeky second question... what's it like inside MNHQ? grin

Like this, UpOverAndOut!

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 15:00:33


Frantically trying to think of a deep and meanigful question, when all I really want to ask is if I can come out and play with you and Caitlin Moran one day.

Actually, I have a question, you're obviously busy - more than full time job, couple of kids, husband etc, etc. Where do you find the headspace for things like this cause? Or to find new music? Or to form actual opinions? I'm either working or flopping on the sofa in front of Real Housewives on TiVO.

Question 1: Obv, you can. Come to Soho, follow the sound of cackling and the scent of cigarette smoke (hers) and you will find us.

Q2: There are only 24 hours in anybody's day, so I try to fill mine with things I care about. I have an ongoing working relationship with Oxfam and a couple of other charities and they're very important to me. I'm honoured that they would ask for my help and grateful that they can help convert what is essentially a fun but (arguably) silly aspect of my job (being slightly well-known) into something of practical use!

That aside, I do as much as possible of all of the above in my pyjamas, which helps. You're never really WORKING when you're in PJs, right?

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:54:56


I just want to say that I love 6Music and really enjoy listening to you LL smile

Thaaaanks! XXX

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:54:23


Squee! I think Lauren is fab smile

Lauren, you've done some pretty exciting things in your career. I've recently become a mother myself and thing I struggle with most is never being my own person - especially at the moment while my baby is so small and the little bugger won't take a bottle Did you find it hard to adjust to having to give up certain aspects of your life when you had children? I'm sure you'll probably say it was worth it in the long run smile

Hello! I totally recognise that feeling - it is a huge adjustment and (to be honest) I'm slightly nonplussed by people who claim to have sailed through it. I think the thing to bear in mind (particularly during the stage you're at - been there!) is that none of it EVER stays the same. It is a process of continual change and letting go (bizarrely combined with MASSIVE responsibility). I often think that parenthood is one big ego-eviscerating exercise in losing control. Your heart is on the outside once you have a baby (as one of my aunties says 'you're only ever as happy as your unhappiest child'!) but equally it takes you right back to who you are. I'm sure you can experience these things without having kids but I'm not sure I would have. I have found resources I didn't know I had and become a person it never occurred to me I might become and for that (as well as many other things) I am very grateful.

Additional practical advice: be kind to yourself, sleep when s/he sleeps!

memagog Thu 30-Jan-14 14:54:18

You have fab taste in fashion, what are your fave sites and will you be doing anymore of those oxfam clothes auction in the near future?

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:46:54


Hello Lauren, I'm listening to you right now, very excited you'll be joining us later.

You seem to have a feminist point of view, would you agree? How has this changed/developed since becoming a mother?

This looks like a great cause.

It has increased! It does when you get older and actually understand things, doesn't it? grin

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:45:08


Hello Lauren and thanks for coming on.
My question is about Twitter - I wondered whether you thought it's been a Good Thing for women?
On the one hand, the experience of Caroline Criado Perez etc, and hideous abusive misogyny.
On the other, it feels as though it's somehow easier to hear women's voices loud and clear on Twitter than anywhere else (apart from MN of course - why I love it so).

I agree with you! I often think that the piecemeal way it operates (you can dip in and out whenever you have a sec) caters perfectly to busy women/mothers. It kind of mirrors the way I interact with my friends anyway? Online misogyny and abuse is obviously horrendous to witness but we will only stop that by overpopulating the medium and tweeting reasonable, polite and lolsome thoughts of our own. There are way more of 'us' than 'them'. They're just loud.

I also think (to an extent) it is what you make it. If your timeline is getting you down, change who you follow!

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:41:56


Hi Lauren,

So pleased you've come on to MN - totally made my week.

If you had to pin down the key points to being a celebratable mum, what would they be? --please say feed them biscuits and don't iron anything--

Two great tips, there - I can't remember where our iron is (I think it might be under the stairs). I guess I'd say that if you're a loving Mum, if you're doing your best and your kids are broadly happy - THAT'S IT. You're doing it right! That is the gig! I think sometimes we put so much emphasis on doing everything the right way that we take the joy out of being a parent. You don't have to be perfect for your kids to grow up to be functional humans. If I had bigger boobs I'd print this on a t shirt (as it is I think I might run out of room).

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:37:35


Hello Lauren and Mumsnet people,

Lauren, if you could change/add anything on the mumsnet website, what would it be?

Thank you!

Avatars. Some of the usernames are just TOO GOOD not to have a picture.

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:37:01


Hi Lauren,

Does this campaign cover families in the UK too?, sadly I see more and more people saying that they are struggling to make ends meet and feed their DC.

Obviously there are many many people much worse off around the world and I would be happy to be a part of this but it's sad that poverty exists in this country too.

The UK Aid match money (up to £5m) goes to projects in Zambia, Tijikistan and Bangladesh but the rest of the money is going to Oxfam projects all around the world (based on need)

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:34:18



Just wondering what your experience of being a woman in the media/light entertainment has been, in terms of how men treat you, whether you think women are taken seriously and given the same opportunities as men, how you see older women's careers going (ageism and the like) and whether you think things are going in the right direction?

I think things are a lot better than they were. To be honest 'BITD' sexism was so normal you didn't even really notice it! It was just how things were (I remember a colleague at an old workplace who would shout 'whattup bitches' as his greeting to female colleagues). I think we're in the middle of this strange, occasionally awkward and probably quite disconcerting for some people (but ultimately REALLY NECESSARY) phase where people are becoming aware of, highlighting all these things and calling them out. Things have to change. But I believe they are going in the right direction.

I have experienced sexism, seen a lot of ageism (and I imagine my turn is coming on that front soon). I think myself incredibly lucky that I'm not doing my job 40 years ago. Annie Nightingale - CLANG- told me a mindblowing story recently about turning up at clubs with her records and literally not being allowed to play. They just wanted her to stand there, like a mannequin. Maybe wave. URGH.

nowit Thu 30-Jan-14 14:33:30

Hi Lauren,

Does this campaign cover families in the UK too?, sadly I see more and more people saying that they are struggling to make ends meet and feed their DC.

Obviously there are many many people much worse off around the world and I would be happy to be a part of this but it's sad that poverty exists in this country too.

Mignonette Thu 30-Jan-14 14:32:26

That seminal novel of the 80's called 'Lace' wink had a scene in where one of the characters (Tom) handed Kate a card with 'Fuck Guilt' written on it.

I try to hold onto this when the going gets tough.

AuroreH Thu 30-Jan-14 14:32:19

Hello Lauren and Mumsnet people,

Lauren, if you could change/add anything on the mumsnet website, what would it be?

Thank you!

LaurenLaverne Thu 30-Jan-14 14:28:23


Just looking at the long list of things you do made me feel tired! So I'm intrigued to know what your work/life balance is like - do you think you've got it about right, or are you like the rest of us, desperately trying to do it all but feeling guilty at the same time for not being the perfect mum.


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