How a charity is helping dozens of vulnerable young mums in South Tyneside towards a brighter future
A South Tyneside support group is helping put dozens of vulnerable young mums in the borough on the path to a brighter future.
The Young Mums Network, led by South Shields based charity Bright Futures, offers support for 30 young mums and mums-to-be under the age of 25.
Many of the women are struggling with parenting, mental health issues or fleeing domestic violence.
The weekly sessions, which are held at All Saints Children’s Centre in South Shields on Tuesdays at 1pm and Jarrow Children’s Centre, Fridays at 10am give mums and their babies the opportunity to bond with others, take part in activities and trips out and provide one on one support.
“The majority of members say that it helps reduce isolation and raises their self esteem and confidence,” said project lead, Ruth Hobson.
“They find that it makes them better parents because they’re in a better place themselves.”
She continued: “We do a lot of work around domestic violence and support everyone who has found themselves in a difficult or unhealthy relationship to help them find ways of getting more control of that aspect of their life.”
Many of the women have gone onto become mentors for newer members and now the charity is appealing to other young mums in South Tyneside who may benefit from the group.
Ruth added: “There’s not as much as support for young women in this area. There are outreach services and health and social care, but some require a lot more than is available and that’s where we come in.
“I can offer one to one support to help people access services, find employment, education or training and give lifestyle advice such as fitness and nutrition.”
Kymberleigh, 18 said: “I am a very anxious person but going to young mums with my little boy has really boosted my confidence. My little boy, being disabled, struggles to make friends so it is great for him too.”
Chloe, 21, added: “It's a place where I can go and get everything off my chest. There are people who can give me advice and listen to what I have to say.”
For more information visit the Bright Futures Young Mums Network Facebook page.