Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Relationship Advice Extended to Fathers; Young Mums' Support Group Toddles One More Step

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Relationship Advice Extended to Fathers; Young Mums' Support Group Toddles One More Step

Article excerpt

Byline: MEGAN SIPPEL

ONE day, she is excited; the next, she is nervous. But one thing mum-to-be Nicola McKinnie hopes to ensure is that she is prepared ... prepared for the major lifestyle change that will happen this June when she welcomes her baby boy into the world.

Each week, Nicola, 20, of Bli Bli, is surrounded by people who are making sure this happens as she attends the Educating, Mentoring, Mothering Adolescents program in Maroochydore.

EMMA, which is run in partnership with Life Bridge, Kawana Life, NAMTEC, the Seventh Day Adventist Community Church at Chancellor Park and Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership, has offered assistance to 45 new mothers, aged 15 to 21, since it began two years ago.

This year, however, as a result of feedback from previous participants, the program will also be running sessions for the participants' partners.

Program manager Lyn Baird said many of the fathers had been concerned the young women might outgrow them after receiving the guidance in mothering, career and life choices offered by EMMA.

Now, the partners will attend sessions once a month that are focused on the theme the women have been working through.

Lyn expects this latest initiative to improve the free program, which has already been doing wonders in assisting young mothers, who might not have family or community support.

"The girls who have transitioned out have said it was like a family support," Lyn explained.

"They grew and learned so much and looked forward to coming every week."

Even though she joined the program only recently, Nicola has also found this to be the case.

"It's great to know other people who are going through the same things," she said. "They are all really great girls and it's good to have the support of everyone."

The group meets twice a week, covering issues including budgeting, housing rights, life skills, sexual health and other health issues and milestones in a baby's development. …

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