"My journey at the children's centre"

About: Calverton Children's Centre

(as a parent/guardian),

The children's centre has really helped me since I had both my children. When I had my first child I suffered with postnatal depression, I still suffer with depression. I had never heard of or knew exactly what sure start did.

One of the staff members came to visit me at home and explained all about the centre. I still wasn't sure about going as I was shy and not confident at all, but the staff member reassured me and even offered to meet up and go together. I managed to pluck up the courage and go alone. It was very daunting at first before I entered as I didn't know what to expect and thought people would judge me, thinking that I wasn't good enough to be a mum.

Everything seemed to change when I walked through the doors, the staff were welcoming, friendly and didn't parade me round as a newbie (you know like they do at school, stand you at the front of the class where you had to talk about yourself). Even the parents welcomed me with open arms and once I got speaking to them I realised I wasn't doing this parent thing alone and some of the mums we're going through similar to what I was experiencing.

My first child was displaying behavioural problems which became an issue when his brother was born. I found it hard to cope with and wanted to help him and myself. The centre allocated me a family support worker. I'm glad I asked for support as it has helped all of my family and realised that my eldest might need extra help and support with regards to his behaviour. The centre worked as a team and involved me and my husband whilst we went through the process and I know that I can still go back for moral support and for a friendly chat.

The centre has really helped me, I am more confident, I have achieved a lot by volunteering at the centre, being part of the parents forum and doing adult learning courses that have helped me to be where I am today. I could write pages and pages of all the wonderful things that I have done and what the centre and its staff have done for me and I can truly say that if it wasn't for all this then my life and probably my children's life would be a different story.

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Response from Kathy Wilkins, Children's Centre Coordinator, Sure Start Children's Centre, Health Partnerships

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us. It is great to know that the work staff put in has made a real difference to you and your family. Volunteers and parents forum members are so valuable to the team, we really couldn't achieve half of what we do without your help and support. I wish you every success in the future, puttin your new skills to work. Thank you again for being such a wonderful part of the Calverton team.

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