Our children’s centres give parents the confidence to support every aspect of their child's development though a range of initiatives. Through our network of drop-in sessions, we offer one to one specialised support for those who have particular needs.
I am a young single mum who escaped domestic abuse. With a 5-year-old son and an unborn child on the way, I initially sought safety with my mum. Sadly, living with my mum was only a temporary arrangement and I had no choice but to stay in a hostel.
Heavily pregnant with a young child and a history of depression, I didn’t have a support network and felt alone. I couldn’t drive and felt isolated in a new area. My new born baby was less than eight weeks away, and I was prone to prenatal depression. I only worked 10 hours a week which meant that I was struggling to purchase school uniform for my son, Lewis, and essential baby items ahead of the birth of my second child. I also knew that if permanent accommodation wasn’t found, Lewis would need to move schools and make friends again which would be unsettling.
To help me through my ordeal, Ormiston Families’ Children Centre provided 12-weeks of one-to-one sessions for my specific needs whilst we were living in the hostel.
Signposting and referrals were made, including liaising with the housing officer to find permanent accommodation close to my son’s school. An application was also made to purchase clothing vouchers, and a single bed for my new born baby. I was encouraged to obtain a pupil premium, so that I could purchase a school uniform for my son that was the same as the other school children.
Since being introduced to my local Children’s Centre, I have been able to build a support network with other parents at the school who helped me with my son’s pick up and drop off times. This meant that Lewis’ attendance didn’t suffer during the period that we were living in a hostel.
I now have a permanent home with my son and new born baby, meaning that Lewis can stay at his local school and keep his existing friends. With my permission, the midwife at the Children’s Centre contacted the family worker and raised no concerns of prenatal or postnatal depression. I now attend my local church toddler group every week and have built a network of friends in the area that I live.