The problems facing young mums in South Tyneside during lockdown - and how charity Bright Futures is helping
A South Tyneside charity has taken steps to support young mums facing new challenges during the pandemic.
Bright Futures, which is based in South Shields, has been a lifeline for young mums in the borough while the coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place.
The charity helps thousands of women and girls every year and through its young mums group, supports dozens of mums and mums-to-be under the age of 25.
Many of the women are struggling with parenting, poor mental health or fleeing domestic violence.
Since the lockdown measures came into force in March staff have found new ways to support mums experiencing heightened isolation.
While face to face groups – usually held at All Saints Children’s Centre in South Shields and Jarrow Children’s Centre – have been unable to go ahead, the women have taken part in daily Zoom calls about anything from what they’re having for tea to how they are feeling.
A WhatsApp group has also been launched, which now has 42 members and 16 mums have completed online e-learning courses, from Safeguarding and First Aid to Stress Management, Mental Health Awareness.
Bright Futures have also helped families who have been hit financially by the pandemic, delivering food parcels and helping them to access support such as grants for new furniture and vouchers for supermarkets.
Craft and baking kits, mindfulness packs, bird-feeders have been provided to help boost their mental health and wellbeing while at home.
One mum commented: “During the pandemic they’ve helped me massively… the phone calls help my mental health and I look forward to having someone to talk to.”
Another added: “Lockdown has been really hard for me, but with the help of Bright Futures it has been a bit more fun and bearable.”
Project lead, Ruth Hobson, said: “We are all looking forward to getting back to the face to face groups, but we also feel that there have been some benefits to working in this way. The mums certainly have taken this opportunity to improve their circumstances and build their support networks.”
For more information email [email protected] or contact 07484904677.