As many of you may have seen that there has been a plan announced to close Sure Start Centre's across Medway to cut back on funding and spending across the Medway Towns.
I am appalled by this decision.
When I was a new mum to Noah, we had just moved to Medway. I knew nobody whatsoever who also had young children and having been through an ordeal when having him, the health visitor was concerned that I would be stuck indoors all the time without a chance to socialise.
She advised me to attend the Sure Start Centre's and I'll be honest, I was a little sceptical. I thought they were where people went to be taught how to parent.
She gave me a timetable and there was a group on Wednesday's called 'Baby Banter', which was for newborn age and upwards. I thought I would give it a go.........
From the first time of being there, I met one of my now close friends Bex and her little girl Florence. We were in the same boat that our babies were newborns and we were only there for the social side of things really, but it was great. I had someone to talk to, to ask questions, moan to about life with a newborn and I enjoyed it every Wednesday.
I then signed up for baby massage classes, where I met another of my now two close friends, Amanda and Zinah. Again, the baby massage was a bit hit and miss. Noah enjoyed the first class but cried the rest, Zinah's son Luke slept every class and Amanda's Jake pooed all over her one session, to the point she was covered in it.
We still talk about these things now, almost 6 years on.
We then met another few mum's Caroline and Claire, again who I am still friends with now.
This was all from ONE sure start centre. Not to mention some of the others I have been to.
These centre's are a lifesaver to new mums. It can be such a lonely, difficult place being a new mum and they give you a chance to meet people who are in a similar situation and give you that little nudge to let you know you are doing things right.
Without the Sure Start Centre's I would have been someone who sat indoors with a new baby every day, already feeling low from Noah's birth and becoming more and more lonely as the days go on. I could have quite easily been another PND statistic, which I am sure the centre's helped save me from.
How many more new mum's are going to miss the vital help these centre's offer? How many new mums are going to end up feeling lonely, with no weekly group to attend with familiar faces that they can enjoy seeing?
How many new mums and babies who may have a turbulent home life will miss out on the chance for this being picked up or even for somewhere to go and escape the life they live amongst?
The closing of these centre's is a disastrous decision and I for one am so upset at the possibility that new mums are no longer going to have the opportunity to make life long friends and memories along the way.
SAVE MEDWAY'S SURE START CENTRE'S!
To sign the petition please click on the following link & complete to help prevent this from happening.
Keep Medway Childrens Centres