Plus One Programme for young parents in Watford Ends on a High
21 June 2017
Young parents across Watford and Three Rivers are celebrating the successful completion of the Plus One programme run by YC Hertfordshire this week - which has seen them take part in a 20-week course designed to help them manage the challenges of becoming new parents, as well as empowering them to progress into further education, employment or training.
Nine 16-22 years olds took part in the programme – meeting on a Thursday morning at YouthZone in South Oxhey, while their children were entertained in a dedicated onsite crèche. The programme covered a wide range of topics including self-assessment, parenting awareness, managing personal finances, healthy living and paediatric first aid - with the young people completing work sheets and building up useful personalised folders as the course progressed.
The sessions often included a dedicated talk by an outside specialist, with Hertsmere Leisure Children’s Centres giving an interactive talk on ‘how a baby’s brain works’, as well as practical activities led by youth workers such as learning to prepare healthy meals. Participants were encouraged to practise what they had learnt – on one occasion making up a healthy picnic for themselves and their children on a budget – before going on a group visit to the park. Additional funding provided by “Feeling Good Week” in February also enabled the group to make a joint visit to a local farm – a great success with all the children and young parents.
The group encouraged each other through the course, forming a close bond and creating a firm support network for the future. Although they are sad the programme has run its course, the future now feels a lot brighter for these young people who have all achieved personal goals.
“I’m really glad I had this opportunity because it let me meet parents in a similar position to me, and gave me the confidence to apply for university”, commented one young mum, while another added, “I’m so pleased I found a programme that I could complete whilst being pregnant, and that I could also bring my baby along to. It’s been really helpful”.
It is hoped that Plus One will be run again in the future – to find out further details, and for information about other YC Hertfordshire youth work programmes and projects across Watford and Three Rivers, visit www.ychertfordshire.org or call 01442 454060 and ask to speak to Laura Butcher or Mary Walsh.