Let it Shine!
Amazing, energetic, fun, confidence boosting, supportive and useful.
Those are just some of the words used by the eleven young parents currently attending the Shine self-confidence course run by Chrisi and Bekki (Young Parents Programme) on a Thursday afternoon.
Devised by the Hillsong Church in Australia, Shine is a personal development programme with an inspiring, practical and experiential approach to learning. The course explores issues of worth, strength and purpose and encourages each woman to realise her potential.
A crèche, taxis and lunch have all been provided to enable the young parents to come and attendance has been excellent. It has been amazing to see how, with a little encouragement, each of the women is growing in confidence, setting goals for her future and seeing positive changes in her life.
One young parent said that her relationship with her partner had really improved and that they are now working together much more to look after their son. Another said:
Shine has helped me develop and to start to think about positive changes in my life. I’ve learnt that I am worth more than how I’ve been treated sometimes.
Anna arrived in England, pregnant at 17, to join the rest of her family living in a friend’s house. Anna spoke little English and family finances were very tight. She had few items for the baby and was unaware of what support might be available for her.
Anna came to one antenatal session before her child was born. Home visits followed when we assessed needs and built a relationship with her. Little Bundles gave practical items such as baby clothes, a bouncer, an activity gym, baby bath and a cot. Romsey Mill also applied for funds from Cambridge Central Aid for a car seat for the baby and donated toys and books.
At Christmas 2010 Besom gave a hamper to make Anna’s Christmas time more special. We supported Anna and her family to find a flat to rent in Cambridge.
Anna says: ‘My midwife told me about Romsey Mill. When I met Rachel (Programme Cooridnator), it was a big importance because they gave me stuff for my baby and they were there for me. I didn’) know what I’m going to do because I am a young mother, only 17 when I had my baby. When I go to Romsey Mill they help me how to stand up on my own. When the baby was born they treated me like family. I’m so happy to be there at Romsey Mill, to have fun, to play, to meet young parents like me and to make friends. Also helping me to go to college. They didn’t accept me at college, maybe because of my English. Romsey Mill helped me to find ESOL course, to get into college and to prepare papers to enter there. Chrisi (Progressions Worker) helped me to find a childminder and to get the money to pay her.’
Anna is now confidently pursuing a path towards a career in healthcare and her young child is developing well.