Holiday healthcare heroes: Giving young mums and their little ones the best start
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Throughout advent, we're highlighting those who work hard throughout the year - and at Christmas - to keep Norfolk and Waveney's health service ticking over.
This countdown of those we count on will focus on a different person or individual every day up until Christmas, celebrating our healthcare heroes.
Family nurse partnership, East Coast Community Healthcare
Young mums in the Lowestoft area got Christmas off to a great start for their children thanks to East Coast Community Healthcare's family nurse partnership team.
The family nurses brought the Christmas elf to Kirkley Children's Centre to meet the families and give them an early Christmas present.
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The babies and toddlers, all of whose start in the world was helped along by one of the family nurses, had a fantastic time at the party which involved games, dancing and craft activities.
The family nurse partnership (FNP) is a voluntary home visiting programme for first time young mums, aged 19 years and under, and is celebrating 10 years of service delivery in the UK this year.
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A specially trained family nurse visits the mother from early pregnancy and supports them until the child reaches two years of age. 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: 'We wanted to kick-start Christmas for the little ones and give their parents a chance to meet up, chat and share their parenting experiences.
'It's very easy to stay indoors when your child is tiny and your friends may still be at college or school and that can be very lonely and isolating.
'The party is also an opportunity to celebrate 10 years of FNP in the UK.
'I love my job because FNP really does make a difference to young first time parents.
'The team's aim is to change the world, one baby at a time.'
• To read about other holiday health heroes, click on a door on the advent calendar above.