Children's Centre - case studies

In their own words

Our Children’s Centre and Young Parents Programme have been contacted by many present and former parents and families who wanted to tell us about how they have been supported by Romsey Mill. Here is a selection of their stories:

Alice said:

“My involvement with Romsey Mill Children’s Centre began when I got moved to emergency housing to a new city that I didn't know and with no friends or family anywhere near. I was pregnant with my son and like every new mum I was very lost and because I didn't have a family unit to fall back on I found myself with post natal depression and anxiety. Dealing with that and having to figure out how to raise a baby was very challenging, but Romsey Mill Children's Centre offered me a support net. My family workers never gave up on me, even when I gave them every reason to. With mental health you push people away. But my family workers never let me fail. Apart from them helping me with every aspect of parenthood, and just helping me be a confident adult, the family workers at Romsey Mill Children’s Centre gave me their time, the greatest gift anyone can give. No matter how long I took up telling them my worries fears or problems they made me feel important like I matter.”

Lizzy said:

“I became pregnant at 17, I didn't know what help and support was out there for me as a young mum. I was always quiet and didn't have much self-confidence, but Romsey Mill ‘s staff were always welcoming and kind, this helped me come out in myself with more confidence. I attended antenatal classes and in one of the sessions we discussed breast and bottle feeding. I wasn't sure on breastfeeding as I didn't want people to judge me. Romsey Mill gave me support - as I always had someone to talk to if I had any concerns or just needed a chat. When my little one came along I gave breastfeeding a go and got along with it, however I don't think I would have breastfed if I didn't have the support of the staff at Romsey Mill. I also made new friends and met young mums like myself. Me and my little one love to attend the group as it helps her with her social skills and development by playing and learning to share with others. I would not be where I am today without the support of Romsey Mill.”

Mollie said:

“Without Romsey Mill I don't know where I would be or in which direction my life would be going. With their help I am now a part-time working mum, they helped me get back into work and they also gave me an amazing opportunity with all the courses they do for example maths, which really helped to re energise my brain on maths after being out of work and education for a while. I’ve honestly made friends for life, without them there I wouldn't have met the people I have and have gotten this far without them. Not only while I have been a mum but whilst I was pregnant they were there supporting with their antenatal classes which really help for first time mums, the course was amazing and I went from not knowing anything to feeling like I had been a parent already after these classes.”

Milly said:

“Romsey Mill completely changed my life. I was pregnant and homeless with virtually no support, but the workers not only helped me find somewhere to live, they went above and beyond to help me in every aspect of my life in any way they could. They advised me on reconnecting with my family and introduced me to new friends through their groups. I now have a more than adequate amount of fantastic support, a home for myself and my daughter and I am beginning university in September (which they also supported me with) all in the space of less than a year! Romsey Mill has improved my life tenfold.”

David said: “I have been attending weekly playgroups and parenting courses at the Children’s Centre for the past 6 months and have seen a huge benefit in a number of ways. I was concerned about my son’s behaviour and keen to get a better understanding of this and wanted to learn how to effectively deal with it. The parenting course at the Children’s Centre has been a real life-line for me. I now feel that my son’s behaviour has improved significantly and I’m a more confident and better informed parent and our father-son relationship has blossomed as a result. At the beginning of the year I was stressed out trying to occupy my son ..and not in a great place! The Children’s Centres helped me just by simply being there – and I had somewhere to go with my son especially in the depressing winter months.”

Liz's story:

"Romsey Mill was like a safety net for me when I wasn’t coping after the birth of my first child. All the staff there were friendly, non-judgemental and full of practical advice. It can be disorientating when your child is born, as you have to give up former routines, independence and often contact with colleagues and friends. At Romsey Mill each week I met parents going through similar issues and a supportive network of friends developed. Many years on now, my daughter and I are still best friends with people we met at Romsey Mill. I am so grateful that it was there for us."