Mums celebrate their graduation

A group of local, young and first time mothers recently graduated from the Family Nurse Partnership programme with the Southern Trust.

Graduate Amy Holness from Dromore with her daughter Amy and Santa.

The mothers who signed up to the programme in 2016 also celebrated the milestone of their babies’ second birthdays at the event which was supported by the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Julie Flaherty.

The nurse-led home visiting programme is offered to young mums aged 19 and under and their families. The same family nurse visits the mum and her family from early pregnancy until the child’s second birthday, taking them through a range of activities and supporting them with the many issues that families can face. Since 2012, over 200 young mums in the Southern Trust have benefitted from the programme.

Former client Helen Boyd shared her journey highlighting the very positive impact the Family Nurse Partnership programme had on her life. She described the challenges and hurdles encountered from discovering she was pregnant, to adjusting to motherhood and ultimately moving into full time employment. She described how instrumental the supportive relationship she shared with her family nurse was in enabling her to manage these challenges.

At the Family Nurse Partnership graduation ceremony are Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Trust; Julie Flaherty, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Santa Claus, Helen Boyd from Banbridge who graduated from the FNP with her son Caolam, daughter Madeline and her mother.

Congratulating the new graduates, Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Trust said: “Being a parent is of course so rewarding but as all of us mums and dads know it isn’t always easy. We all want the best for our children and sometimes we can worry that we aren’t doing our best. Becoming a mum for the first time is exciting and can also be scary for all kinds of reasons.

“We are delighted to have our team of Family Nurses not only to help you in the early days of meeting your baby, but also in the weeks and months that follow as they develop into toddlers. They also help young parents in dealing with common insecurities, getting them to think about their future aspirations for education, training and employment and supporting them to be the best parent that they can be.”