Teen mums at a local YMCA mother and baby unit took part in a Channel 4 programme about the challenges of young motherhood.
The documentary followed teenagers Hazel, Tahiry, Kate, Kayleigh and Tabitha, for several months while they stayed at a YMCA hostel for pregnant teen mums.
Rose, a YMCA support worker who’s been looking after young mothers at the hostel for the past nine years, said on the show: “Some parents don’t want their girls home with the baby or they have come from a really abusive relationship. I can’t change what’s happened but I can help these girls move forward.
“I was only 18-years-old when I had my first daughter. I want these girls to see that, if I can do it, they can do it too.
“I have their best interest at heart. I want them to succeed when they leave me.”
Tahiry, one of the residents at the mother and baby unit, arrived at the hostel when she was 18-years-old and eight months pregnant. She said: “Before I moved to the hostel, my life was already very stressful, especially being pregnant. I just didn’t have nowhere [sic] to go. I was being moved from one bed and breakfast to another.
“It was probably the worst time of my life. I was seeing other people being pregnant and having baby showers and I was happy for them, but at the end of the day I had to go back to the bed and breakfast and I was all by myself.
“Rose has played a massive part in my life over the past three years, just because she has been there. She has seen me grow as a person. If it wasn’t for Rose, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
The programme aired on 14 December at 23:05 and tackled the stereotype of young mums. It received many positive reviews on social media, as well as from new donors.
I would have loved to have been placed in the YMCA with Rose ❤️ What a fantastic mother and baby unit ????? #houseofteenmums
— Liz Clark (@LizLizclark3) 14 December 2016
— Heather (@heatherlmolloy1) 15 December 2016
One person who watched the programme and was inspired to donate said:
“Just to say what an inspirational woman Rose is on the Channel 4 programme that features YMCA. I have donated (only a small amount I’m afraid) as a result of seeing her work and dedication, and seeing how hard life is for the mums in the programme.”
If you’ve missed the programme last night, you can still watch it on Channel 4 Catch Up.