This project will provide supported accommodation for the most vulnerable young pregnant women in our community and their babies.
The young women will be provided with a room furnished with a single bed, cot and all the necessary bedding, with shared bathrooms, kitchen and lounge. A second private lounge would be provided for meetings with their partners and professional agencies.
This facility will encourage and improve their quality of life and increase their expectation. Many of the young mums who will come into this project have probably been in care or been a looked-after child, mostly with issues ranging from abuse – sexual or emotional, neglect and being subjected to poor parenting skills themselves.
These young women have low self-esteem, lack of confidence and probably have not engaged well in education.
Whitehaven Community Trust have identified a gap in local services whereby a system of prioritising social housing for pregnant teens due to their vulnerability, may provide shelter in the short term, it can also set the young parents up to fail. With no further support many of these young people fail their tenancies, often leading to their children being placed on the at-risk register through interventions from social services.
The project will also regenerate an empty building on Irish Street and bring it back in use.
It is envisaged the project will create 5 new posts; 3 project workers and 2 night time security staff, these will be funded through other funding streams.
Kerry Maxwell, CEO for Whitehaven Community Trust, said “We opened the facility to our first mum in October 2017 and aim to run initially for 3 years. During this time it is anticipated that we will be able to provide help for approximately 70 young mothers and babies; a typical service user arriving with us in her second trimester and staying until her baby is 6-9 months old. As the nearest facility of this kind is in Gateshead, nearly 100 miles away this will be a great asset to our local community.”
Additional funding of £12,500 was provided from Whitehaven Community Trust’s own funds.