"Parent's experience of Under Ones baby group at Summer House Children's Centre"

About: Mansfield & Ashfield

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

My baby was a few weeks old. I had received the information about the group from the ante natal classes and once my husband was back at work; it was a matter of 'let's do it, ' let's go. ' It felt a very hard thing to do in those early weeks, as a first time mum, but so glad I plucked up the courage and can honestly say I've never looked back.

My baby and I have always been made to feel very welcome, have enjoyed the play activities and have been encouraged to suggest new things we want to try. It's a time for me to make friends, chat to other parents and to discover that we all do things differently and that's ok if if baby is content, happy and healthy. It's a time I can really focus on my baby, how she is developing, her interests and to give her a good start in becoming a sociable, confident individual. The group has been a life line - proving to be invaluable.

I have worked in childcare for many years, run similar groups and now am seeing it all from the other side. I feel I can ask for advice and support from the other side. I feel I can ask for advice and support from the workers that run the group, without feeling that a question is silly, that I am anxious or that I should know, as I would do with family, colleagues and close friends. The staff also take a genuine interest in all the babies and are so natural with them.

The qualifications and experience from working in childcare may have given me the theory but nothing has prepared me for the emotional feelings, the adaptions to the change parenthood brings and how overwhelming it is when I suddenly realised my life has been turned upside down and will never be the same again.

Under Ones has been the medicine I've needed, enjoying the time it gives me with my baby - my little friend. I'm grateful to the staff who run the group consistantly each week (this helps to build rapport) and sincerely thank them - they do an amazing job.

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Response from Karon Foulkes, General Manager, Sure Start, Health Partnerships - Nottinghamshire Healthcare

Thank you so much for sharing your experience at The Summer House Childrens Centre. Well done for taking that first step into a group as a new parent- I know its hard, so it is really good to hear the staff and other parents made you welcome. I will make sure the satff who run the group are encouraged to have a look at your posting so they know how to carry on their good work.


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