Working hard to get the support…

Some of my loyal readers may remember last month I posted about the lack of support around for young parents. Well someone I’ve been in contact with on twitter for a few months now @bettersexeduk  who has been working with a young parents group in Glossopdale, Derbyshire. The young womens group there is run by a wonderful lady Jackie Hay who featured on a DVD that this group made and I had the chance to watch. The DVD called “Teenage Kicks” was created by the Glossopdale Young Womens group and the New Mills Young Womens group.The DVD was awe inspiring in the respect that for the first time I was watching a documentary about what being a teenage parent was really like. Not how the media show it to be. It was extremely well made and the lovely girls in the DVD were kind enough to let the cameras come into their homes and see them with their children. They were honest and they were frank. They spoke about the truth, the good and the bad. They didn’t just focus on the negatives like many prime time TV Documentary’s do! 


Sadly however like the young parents group I was involved with, they are under serious threat of closure due to lack of funds. @Bettersexeduk tells me that “The group very nearly closed at the end of March but Contraception Education (Barbara: Managing Director and myself: Community and Youth Work Studies student [although my placement at CE has now finished] – we both became involved with GYWG in a number of ways) funded the groups crèche.” However of course in the world of money this still isn’t enough and the group are having to work their socks off to apply for grants and fund-raising etc to be able to keep the group open. 


When my young parents group shut down a lifeline was pulled from under me. OK so I wont deny it when I had first heard of the group I had my reservations. I thought they would be all teenage bitches like the bullies I had encountered at school and that no one would speak to one another. Eventually my connexions advisor dragged me along when Simba was around three months old. I walked into a room with other parents, around 8 or 9 of them. All with children running everywhere and with a few lovely older ladies helping run around after the children. They were all keen to talk to me and ask questions which I obliged and answered and gradually I got to know them. The following week I went back and the rest as they say is history. I learnt so much at that group, we did courses on confidence, parenting with confidence, money management, crafting as well of course as funding some of us to learn to drive. We also went on day trips to the beach and had girlie evenings on the longboat the council youth services have. All until one day when suddenly we were told that from the following week there would no longer be a group. As simple as that. The funding had been cut and the group was shutting down. The same thing happened to six other groups within our county. No warning or anything for us to try and do anything to stop it. 


I managed to stay in contact with a few of the Mums at the group but we found it harder and harder to meet up without the central point that had been our young parents group. Sadly now it still doesn’t run. Alot of the children’s centres around here have young parents groups on their timetables but I’ve been down to a few and often because their num
bers of young parents are so low they simply allow it to be another play and stay for parents of all ages. Needless to say I don’t often go back to those. Without my young parents group I attended for that year and a half I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They gave me confidence in myself and my parenting abilities. They gave me a place to sit and vent at the stares on the bus and the attitude of others. Without that I would have remained shy and retiring and not left the house anywhere near as much as I did because of the group. 



Jackie Hay set up the Glossopdale young women’s group to build their confidence, make new friends and give them a voice in the community. And its worked. The DVD is proof of that. There are many young women benefiting from Jackies group but sadly if funding doesn’t come in soon then these young women are going to have no where to turn to when their confidence is down and they need some advice. They have written a fundraising letter which @bettersexeduk twitpic’d


It is sadly a very political affair as I mentioned in my previous post and no doubt its the same story up and down the country with young parents groups being shut down due to lack of funding, the fact of the matter is its not on and only the young people who use them are the only ones with the power in their voices to stop them. Good on Glossopdales young women for not sitting back and letting it slide, they are making their voices heard in the best way they can. 


It angers me how little is out there for young parents and I’ve been in discussions with Urbanvox.net about a website that I want to create for young parents and he is going to be helping me with the more technical side of things. 


I’m also currently involved in a research project that a central London council are running in regards to why young parents find it so hard to volunteer or simply don’t consider it. If you would like to share your experiences as a young parent in relation to volunteering please get in touch. Thanks.



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