WHEN Maddy Alexander had her son, Ben, she was keen to get out of the house to parent and baby groups.

As previously reported in the Echo, Maddy suffered from chronic anxiety, and getting out and mixing with other new parents was essential to her wellbeing.

But she soon realised that the the cost of baby classes can quickly add up, which can be especially difficult if one of you is on parental leave, so your family income is reduced.

Maddy had already set up the Southampton Baby and Toddler Forum, a Facebook group where baby and child groups can advertise their events and parents can offer each other advice and support.

She began to wonder if she could find a way for parents to save money and came up with the idea of a discount card, which offers savings on things for little ones, such as groups, shoes clothing and soft play, but would also encourage parents to treat themselves, offering savings on restaurants, beauty salons, gyms and more.

The My VIP Card can also be used for discounts on other services, such as cleaning, plumbing, gardening and baby photography.

“I came up with the idea of a discount card that would help save money on day to day activities for parents but also a card that helps parents to have some ‘me time’,” explains Maddy, from Shirley, Southampton.

“It is so important that parents also have a life outside being a parent! I love being pampered in my spare time, I also really begrudge having to spend money on things like home improvements. I love dining out but again it all comes at a price.”

The card, which is aimed at parents but can be purchased by anyone, is available to buy now, priced £19.99.

Some of the businesses offering discounts to cardholders are Domino’s Pizza, Go Ape, Sprinkles, Flip out, WJ French & Son, The Reel Greek, Gusto Lounge and Mettricks.

Maddy will be holding a launch event at Mettricks in Woolston on March 1, 7pm-10pm, which is open to all.

We have three My VIP Cards to give away to lucky Echo readers. For a chance of winning, answer the following question: what is one of the businesses offering a discount through My VIP Card?

Send your answer on a postcard with your name, address, email address and telephone number to:

My VIP Card Competition, Sally Churchward, Southern Daily Echo, Newspaper House, Test Lane, Southampton, SO16 9JX, by February 5.