Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Need Space; Teenage Mums' Thumbs-Down to Homes Idea

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Need Space; Teenage Mums' Thumbs-Down to Homes Idea

Article excerpt


Should teen mums live in special accommodation? HANNAH DAVIES asks three girls their opinion on the plans announced by PM Gordon Brown "I'D hate living together with a lot of other mums, sometimes there can be a lot of bitchiness," Elaine Young, 17, a mum-ofone, is horrified with Gordon Brown's new plans to house teen mums together in "supervised homes".

"You need your own space to bring up your baby in," she adds.

The Prime Minister's plans for young mums were outlined at the Labour Party conference last week. They are to house 16 and 17-yearold mothers, who don't live with their parents, in supported accommodation and have been met with everything from outrage to praise.

But most of the comments have come from other politicians The Chronicle we went to Ashlyns Unit in Kenton, Newcastle, to ask three of Tyneside's teen mums for their views.

Becca Wright, 16, of Heaton, is worried the homes could end up like hostels, "with just the worst sort of people in them, which wouldn't help anyone".

Chatting to the three young women it is clear all three value their independence and, although they all live with their families at home, Elaine and Sonia Heslop, 16, of the Montagu Estate, Newcastle, both want to move out soon.

"It'll be better for me and Harley," says Sonia, "my mum works so I do pretty much everything myself anyway and I want to get our lives sorted properly."

It's hard to think of any reason why Sonia, who is doing her GCSEs and wants to be a policewoman, shouldn't get her own flat, and easy to see why she wouldn't like to live in "supported" accommodation.

Mature and responsible beyond her years (as all three point out you have to be when you have a baby) she wants to have a good job so she can bring up Harley well. She is eventually hoping to become either "a policewoman or an accountant". …

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