Connection and companionship for young mothers

Principality Building Society’s Future Generations Fund

“I don’t know where I would be without Project Unity, they don’t judge me, they just allow me to be a better version of myself.”

NYAS Cymru help care-experienced children and young people across Wales by championing their rights and working to make sure their voices are heard.

They received funding towards their Project Unity, which aims to break the cycle of children being born to care-experienced young mothers entering the care system in Wales.

Project Unity provides workshops to care experienced young parents, to help them gain skills that could be applied in all areas of life to ensure that these young people are fully equipped to face whatever life may throw at them.

The workshops aim to build hard practical skills, such as budgeting, cooking, and upcycling, and soft skills focused on mindfulness, wellbeing, and emotional regulation.

As part of the sessions, young parents were given ideas and examples of ways to help build their children’s self-esteem and advice on how to provide meaningful childhood experiences for their children in aid of providing the children with a strong sense of self, to enable them to grow into secure adults, thus breaking the cycle of generations entering the care system.

One attendee of Project Unity is Kate* who is 18 years old and has spent her whole life in the care system. At the age of 4 she was adopted but unfortunately her adoption broke down and she was placed into foster-care.

When she was 16, Kate gave birth to a little girl and successfully brought her daughter home to live with her. She was in an abusive relationship and her poor self-esteem meant that she felt unable to leave the situation and seek help.

Not having any family to turn to, she quickly became a recluse and suffered from panic attacks when out in public with her daughter. Her support worker referred her to NYAS and Project Unity where she was allocated a project worker.

Initially Kate was reluctant to leave the house and felt that she would feel judged because of her background and the situation she has been in. Project Unity invited her to be part of her local group session on managing health and wellbeing.

She found herself with other young women with experiences similar to hers and no longer felt alone but accepted and valued and soon started to make friends. This was a huge step for Kate in building her confidence and stepping out of her comfort zone.

From not having a network of support, Kate has now found connection and companionship. She has developed her skills and confidence and has started taking her daughter along to a local parent and toddler group which has improved both her and her daughter’s social skills.



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