Life skills for homeless and pregnant young women

Location:
Walsall, West Midlands
Project Deadline:
December 26, 2022
N/A

We aim to deliver new health & well-being and financial resilience support to previously homeless, pregnant young women in our Walsall house.

Project Overview

Overview provided by crowdfunder.co.uk

About our clients:

The women we support face multiple disadvantage and are not a uniform group; they are individuals with unique and diverse experiences.   They are vulnerable and at risk young women, typically aged 16-25, who find themselves in a crisis situation and with little or no support network or family connection.   Many are escaping abuse and have complex, multi-faceted issues to deal with, such as mental health problems, alcohol and/or drug abuse; have left care or face some other kind of disadvantage.   A history of disrupted education and unhappiness at school, low self-esteem and low expectations makes them more susceptible to falling pregnant at an early age.

They previously existed on the margins of society, particularly vulnerable and very poorly supported, who were homeless and living in poverty.

The Need:

The current cost of living crisis is having a big impact on our clients and we foresee this continuing over the next 12 months.  The cost of food and consumables has increased significantly. The Universal Credit £20 uplift was removed just as everything was increasing in price and is now sky rocketing, heavily impacting our tenants.   Our clients are finding it increasingly difficult to feed and clothes themselves and their child/ren alongside maintaining payments to priority and non-priority debts.  They are having to make decisions around providing a minimum standard of day to day living for themselves or their child/ren and paying bills and debts.  Some clients tell us they have decided to skip meals.  The impact is that they may not be able to afford to buy nutritious food for themselves or their child/ren. They may not be able to provide appropriate clothing for their growing child or according to the weather. They may not be able to pay their rent or other debts. This could lead to them being unable to pay their rent. Clients and their children/ren are at increased risk of having health issues (both physical and mental).  They may feel more vulnerable and less confident in their ability to provide for themselves and their child/ren.


About Life’s Training Support:

Our Life house in Walsall supports 8 previously homeless and pregnant young women each year.  The training seeks to equip them with skills to enable these vulnerable pregnant young mothers to turn their lives around and improve confidence, self-esteem and well-being and give their children a better start in life.


Training will consist of 3 elements:

Cooking and nutrition training will be delivered in groups, teaching healthy versions of take-aways and snacks, cooking on a budget, equipping them with the skills to cook nutritious and cost-effective meals for them and their child, batch cooking & freezing.  Weekly sessions will teach them how to use fresh, seasonal ingredients and what’s appropriate for weaning or for older babies.  They will learn to grow herbs indoors and how these can be used in recipes.


Grow Your Own - the project will develop the garden to create planting areas to grow their own vegetables and herbs to encourage more sustainable living and reducing costs, helping them better manage their tenancy and help them to move on to independent living.

Money management and budgeting –

Training will cover how to budget with reduced income; prioritising key areas such as rent and utilities, groceries and baby essentials.   Also help to access food banks and sourcing second hand baby items.  It will also deliver support and advice on debt management, loan advice and savings to equip them with the knowledge to help them when they move on to independent living.

We will also support them to gain training and employment to lift them over the poverty line and create better chances for them and their child’s success.

Through the training we will engage with and help these vulnerable, pregnant young women and babies who would otherwise have remained below the radar, unsupported and experiencing often multiple trauma.  


Support when they leave the house:

When clients move to independent living a Floating Support Worker will continue to provide emotional support as well as helping them to:

  • Access community support to help organise removals
  • Access free or affordable white goods and furniture
  • Make benefit claims
  • Deal with connection of utilities, redecorating/furnishing the property, post occupation repairs
  • Change doctors/schools and establish new networks of support
  • Link into Sure Start and family centres, health visitors, register with dentists


Outcomes:

Our training will empower them with skills, knowledge and opportunities to help them achieve their full potential and to have the best outcomes for both the mother and her child.  It will deliver a much more person centred approach, so clients feel empowered, have choice and control to make the best choices for their future, helping them to have safe and supportive relationships to thrive, for both themselves and for their child growing up.  

Training will also be critical to the child in their first 2 years with the focus on positive early years experiences and development with strong attachment and relationships.


Clients will:

  • have improved well-being and mental health.  
  • gain confidence and self-esteem
  • be empowered to establish control over their own lives
  • gain strength and resilience - more resilient with coping skills developed to address adverse experiences and possible trauma they may face in the future


Training will:

  • equip them for successful independent living - ability to budget, avoid debt and manage tenancies.  
  • equip them with the skills to cook nutritious and cost-effective meals for them and their child
  • increase their education/training to improve their employability and financial stability - reducing reliance on State benefits and increasing their disposable income.

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