On September 28, international celebrity & UNICEF ambassador, Emma Bunton, joined Pampers and UNICEF at a global summit New York to celebrate the 10 year partnership and the 1 pack = 1 vaccine campaign, which has successfully eliminated maternal and newborn tetanus in 17 countries. Here Emma, 39, reflects on the campaign and discusses being a mum to her two boys Beau, 8, and Tate, 4, that Spice Girls reunion and whether marriage is finally on the cards with her long-term boyfriend Jade Jones, 36.
Emma, you're in New York with Pampers and UNICEF. Tell us about the trip…
New York's great. It's a very brief visit, we arrived yesterday and leave tomorrow but it's amazing being back in the place where the whole UNICEF campaign came together. It started here ten years ago and we've really moved on and made progress. I'm in my third year of the campaign and when we first started we'd eliminated newborn tetanus in ten different countries so three years on seven more have been added, so 17 countries are free of newborn tetanus. It's brilliant.
My mummy friends always ask me what I'm doing as an ambassador of UNICEF and when I say 'tetanus' they're always really shocked. That's something that we've not had to worry about but, still, in 21 countries we're still fighting to eliminate it. It's quite incredible.
You were in Madagascar last year to see the impact that Pampers funding has had on the mums and babies who have benefited from the newborn and maternal vaccination programme. What was the most impactful moment of your visit?
Watching women walk for hours and hours on end, some while pregnant, to the clinic [for vaccinations]. One woman I met was literally due any day, in fact she was over due, and she walked to the health clinic with her family and we sat on a very cold stone floor and she was still smiling and excited about the prospect of her baby. She had made that walk a few times because she'd come before to have the vaccinations. It was incredible to see the lengths the women go to to ensure their child is born healthily. It's all you want for your baby to be happy and healthy and that's why this campaign is so important. I believe every mum has that same dream.
At 25 you didn't think you could have babies because of health issues. That must have been tough…
When I was younger that did happen and now I'm lucky enough to have children and they're everything to me. They're my priority, my everything. That's how all mums are around the world and we want to give every mother that opportunity to have a healthy and happy baby.
What are your little boys like?
They're both adorable, very different, great characters. Beau is very sensitive. In fact when I was leaving for this trip I cried my eyes out and my youngest was like 'you're only going for two days' then my eldest was like 'mummy, why are you going?'. It was a great opportunity for me to explain what I was doing.
You're in New York for this campaign, presenting on Heart FM, you've just starred in a Rocky Horror charity performance. What's your secret to being the best mum, employee and friend?
A lot of juggling but my priority is, obviously, my boys. I tend to work things around them but I love working. I love Heart and have a brilliant time with Jamie Theakston and then being able to do wonderful things like the Rocky Horror Show and the Ab Fab film. They're all things that I get very excited about. Hopefully, I'm a good friend and I'm always there for my girlfriends. Like every other mother we're all juggling work, babies, friendships and husbands. We always will be.
Can you tell us about your part in the new Ab Fab film?
I've worked on Ab Fab before and I love Joanna Lumley. June Whitfield [who plays Eddie's mother] is incredible to be around on set. She's such fun! I'm really looking forward to it but can't say much more than that. I've had a script over but it's amazing to be part of it.
And the Spice Girls 20th anniversary is next year. Do you agree with Mel B who said recently that you all need to reunite to celebrate the milestone?
I love performing with the girls so it's something I'd love to do. It would be nice to celebrate in some way and we have talked about it but there's nothing set in stone.
There's a question mark over Victoria Beckham taking part. Have you got any tools in your box of persuasion to win her over? Perhaps free babysitting for a year?
That's the thing! We've all got children so it can be hard getting us all together but, hopefully, we can make it happen at some point.
As a five?
You turn 40 in January, are you marking it with a special party?
I really want to but I'm very last minute dot com. I'm terrible at organising anything, that's why I'm not married either! But yes, I will definitely be celebrating with friends who have known me for years so I'm looking forward to that.
Is being disorganised the reason why you and Jade haven't got married or is simply because you don't need to fix what isn't broken?
Both really. I call him my husband and he calls me his wife even though we're not married and we've got two beautiful children. We're so close. Everyone who knows us knows that we're the best of friends and he's also very sexy! I'm sure if we got round to organising something that would be good but we haven't felt the need as yet.
Are there any big ambitions you still want to fulfil?
At the moment I'm so busy. One was to become an ambassador of UNICEF and that's been a complete honour. I'm taking part in the Ab Fab film, Heart Breakfast is a big part of my life and I'm just taking time out with my boys and watching them grow. I do tend to take each day as it comes.
What's the toughest thing about being a mum?
I do say 'oh my goodness, it's going so fast'! They are gorgeous human beings. I love their characters. At the minute they're at such a funny age and they're very different from each other. For me, I want to be a better person because of them and for them.
Are the baby clothes packed away for ever or would you consider trying for a third baby? It just depends, maybe if I'm lucky enough and if it's right. At the moment I'm watching two gorgeous boys grow up and that's my priority.
You looked awesome in your Rocky Horror outfit. How are you keeping yourself in such amazing shape?
Well, thank you very much. Jade was in the audience that night and afterwards he came up and said 'wow!' It's lovely that I'm still getting that reaction from him. I'm not a gym bunny. I run around with the kids, we go to the park and on bikes. I keep it really fun and try to eat healthily. I've got another half who's a chef and he's a brilliant cook so we all get gorgeous dinners from him. I feel very lucky.
Emma Bunton is supporting the 10th anniversary of the Pampers UNICEF campaign. For every specially marked pack of Pampers purchased, Pampers will donate the equivalent cost of one vaccine to help UNICEF in the fight against Maternal and Newborn Tetanus (MNT). Visit facebook.com/PampersUKIre to find out more.
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