Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fresh Start for Young Vulnerable Parents; A PIONEERING New Project to Support Vulnerable Young Parents and Mums-to-Be Has Been Launched on Tyneside. NICOLA WEATHERALL Reports

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fresh Start for Young Vulnerable Parents; A PIONEERING New Project to Support Vulnerable Young Parents and Mums-to-Be Has Been Launched on Tyneside. NICOLA WEATHERALL Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: NICOLA WEATHERALL

HAVING a baby is arguably one of the biggest life-changing experiences anyone can face.

But for vulnerable young parents, the challenge can be all the greater.

That's why a new venture has been set up in our region to support young mums, dads and mums-to-be who want to live independently, but still need some support. Called New Beginnings, the scheme is run by North Tyneside Homes and provides short-term accommodation for up to two years to young parents aged 16 to 25.

The facility in Howdon offers self-contained flats for single mums, dads, or expectant mums, along with communal social and learning areas.

Residents also receive bespoke family support throughout their tenancy, including links to education, training and jobs, to prepare them for independent living.

The scheme is currently supporting 17 families.

Mum-to-be Toni Feeney has lived at New Beginnings since September and her baby is due early next year.

The 21-year-old, who helped to come up with the name New Beginnings, said: "Since living in the young parents' scheme I have received lots of support and I think I am going to really benefit even more from living here once the baby is born.

"I am already doing some preparation with my keyworker about getting support with a tenancy when the time comes to move on."

Jade Proudman, 20, moved into New Beginnings three weeks ago. Her first child is due in April. She said: "It's really friendly here and it's good that you get your own flat and your own space.

"I've never lived on my own before and the thought scared me, especially because I am pregnant, in case something went wrong.

"Here, I know that people are just next door or a phone call away. It makes me feel really secure and I can get a good night's sleep and not worry about things.

"Everyone has been really welcoming - some other girls came and knocked on my door straight away as soon as I moved in and I've made some nice friends already."

New Beginnings has replaced a former women's homelessness centre in Purley Close and has benefited from a pounds 200,000 makeover, undertaken by Kier North Tyneside. …

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