April 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Being a parent, it is often said, is one of the toughest jobs you can do.
Now, thanks to a new parent cafe at the Attleborough Sure Start Children’s Centre, mums and dads are giving each other support to help cope with the stresses and strains of bringing up a little one.
The centre at the Community Enterprise Centre in Church Street – which is managed by the charity Action for Children – had been running a successful group to support mothers with breastfeeding.
“People were coming for advice because a health visitor and midwife were there,” said Dawn Marjoram, who attends the new parents’ group.
“People were just popping up and having a really nice time. Dads quite often came a couple of times. Everyone just found it a tremendous support.”
However because the group had been set up with a breastfeeding focus, Mrs Marjoram said there was a fear some might feel left out.
“We decided to open to everyone – for people to come in, talk about being up at 2.30am and watch each other’s children grow up,” she said.
Mrs Marjoram, of Halford Road, Attleborough – who gave birth to Toby seven months ago – has since become a “peer helper” at the group, who helps to organise the weekly sessions as well as joining in herself.
She said the group, which runs between 1pm and 3pm every Wednesday and attracts about eight parents with their children, has been a great help for many.
“We found it was a little bit of sanity where we can touch base with people in the same situation as us,” the 46-year-old said.
“A lot of new mums for example found it difficult to know what to do with the rest of their day.
“We see this group as a time when we come and have a giggle and just a time when we feel everything relax.
“It is lovely for the children as well, because they are meeting the new children they will be going to school with.”
She particularly praised members of staff at the children’s centre.
“They are amazing and just like a family,” Mrs Marjoram said. “They can’t do enough for us.”
She is now encouraging other new parents in Attleborough to join the group.
“I’m sure there are mums and dads out there who feel completely bamboozled by the whole thing and need other people around the support them.”
For more information about the group, call the Attleborough Sure Start Children’s Centre on 01953 451196.
Do you think there should be more support groups for parents? Email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk