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Young families celebrate over paddle and picnic at beach party

PUBLISHED: 13:53 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 06 August 2018

Young parents and their children had fun in the sun as a special beach party was hailed a success.

The beach party was organised by East Coast Community Healthcare’s Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) in Lowestoft as babies and toddlers, whose start in life was helped along by one of the family nurses, met up on the South Beach in Lowestoft for a paddle and a picnic.

With lots of games and a sandcastle competition adding to the fun, the event proved to be a “real celebration.”

The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a voluntary home visiting programme for first time young mums, aged 19 years and under.

A specially trained family nurse visits the young mum from early pregnancy and supports them until the child reaches the age of two. They offer advice on all aspects of the baby’s birth and care as well as helping them with issues such as arranging housing, obtaining benefits and continuing their studies.

ECCH’s family nurse supervisor, Nicole Hobson, said: “Our summer picnic has become very popular with families we’re supporting now and those we’ve helped in the past all joining us.

“Teenage parents often feel judged and stigmatised which results in them becoming lonely and isolated. So each year we host several events to bring together parents and children to give them a chance to chat, share their experiences and build friendships.

“It’s a real celebration of their achievements in being the best parents they can be.”

The Family Nurse Partnership has been developed over the past 30 years, originating in the USA. It began in England in 2007.

It aims to enable young families to have a healthy pregnancy, improve their child’s health and development, plan their own futures and achieve their aspirations and goals. There are now more than 80 sites across England offering places to more than 10,000 families.

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) is a Community Interest Company which provides NHS community health services across Norfolk and Waveney. Its headquarters are based in Lowestoft.

Services include district nursing, health visiting, community in-patient services, GP surgeries, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, specialist nursing care, palliative care, school nursing and health improvement services.

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