A group of local, young and first time mothers recently graduated from the Family Nurse Partnership programme with the Southern Trust.
The mothers, including Nicola Campbell from Dungannon, who signed up to the programme in 2016 also celebrated the milestone of their babies’ second birthdays at the event which was supported by the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Julie Flaherty.
The nurse-led home visiting programme is offered to young mums aged 19 and under and their families.
The same family nurse visits the mum and her family from early pregnancy until the child’s second birthday, taking them through a range of activities and supporting them with the many issues that families can face. Since 2012, over 200 young mums in the Southern Trust have benefitted from the programme.
Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Trust said: “Being a parent is of course so rewarding but as all of us mums and dads know it isn’t always easy. We all want the best for our children and sometimes we can worry that we aren’t doing our best. Becoming a mum for the first time is exciting and can also be scary for all kinds of reasons.
“We are delighted to have our team of Family Nurses not only to help you in the early days of meeting your baby, but also in the weeks and months that follow as they develop into toddlers. They also help young parents in dealing with common insecurities, getting them to think about their future aspirations for education, training and employment and supporting them to be the best parent that they can be.
“We are extremely proud of our new Family Nurse Partnership Graduates. Your beautiful toddlers are now two years old and you should be proud of all you have achieved together. As Graduates, you will have a good idea of your own goals and what you would like to achieve after today, maybe you want to go to college, start a new career, take an apprenticeship – whatever you choose – we wish you well.
“Family Nurse Partnership is a great example of how through early intervention we can focus on the future health and wellbeing of child and mother, improve social and educational outcomes and have a positive influence on the long term outlook for families.”
Graduates were presented with a certificate of achievement and a commemorative cup, meanwhile the children were entertained with arts and crafts provided by Lisa Grimley School Age Mums (SAMS) co-ordinator as well as floor play, story time and lots of fun provided by Blossom and Dungannon Surestart. The children also enjoyed meeting Santa Claus.
Applications to Family Nurse Partnership should be made as early as possible in pregnancy (up to 28 weeks). Applications can be received from anyone - any Health and Social Care professional, Teachers, a family member or you can self-refer. For further information Tel: 028 3756 4631 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org