Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Sure Way to Beat Isolation

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Sure Way to Beat Isolation

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Metcalfe Reporter will.metcalfe@ncjmedia

SAVE our Sure Start is the message of one mum who said the service saved her from isolation after she became a mum.

Rachael Cartwright moved from Newcastle to Morpeth before giving birth to her daughter Holly but after she finished work for maternity leave she was stunned by how empty the days seemed without any real social contact.

The 27-year-old is one of the thousands of parents across the UK who have been left feeling isolated according to an Action for Children survey which revealed 30% of parents in the North East feel lonely and isolated.

The research, of more than 2,000 parents, has revealed almost one in five parents have become more socially isolate since becoming a parent.

Rachael said: "When I moved to Morpeth I didn't have the network of friends.

"When I finished work for maternity my life went from being very busy, to very quiet.

"You expect to do all these things with the baby when they're first born but they don't do anything at first and you sit in the house watching them sleep - which is fine for a few hours, or a few days, but soon you start to feel on your own.

"Sure Start always have things going on.

"I started by going to a breast feeding support group and after that I was going to different groups because I knew that I would know some people there."

Before she was attending the classes and get togethers offered by Sure Start Rachael said she 'constantly felt down' due to the long hours her partner works and the constant wait for company at home.

Action for Children found 57% of parents said it was important to have other friends who are parents.

Carol Iddon, director of children's services at Action for Children across the North East, said: "Having a network that you can call on is vital, to help celebrate your child's achievements and share those funny moments or the tougher times, which all parents face. …

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