Mandy talks about the Foróige Teen Parent Support Programme

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Foróige February 27, 2013

“My wee girl Leona is now three and I couldn’t imagine my life without her – and I couldn’t imagine what my life would have been like without the Foróige Teen Parents Support Programme either. I remember when I first got involved thinking I just couldn’t do it on my own, but now I know that we will be OK and that I can make a better life for me and my daughter.”

I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant and I was in shock – I’d never planned to be a teenage mum and being honest, it was terrifying. There was so much other stuff going on for me and my family at that time, the last thing we needed was this news. In time we got our heads around it and luckily I was referred to the Teen Parent Support Programme. From then on my life started to get better. I was completely focused on my beautiful new baby girl. I’m so thankful for Tara in Foróige, I would be lost without her. She helped me with a lot of things – things that at 16, you just wouldn’t know about, like budgeting and juggling work and childcare.

I’m actually going back to school now, so that’s a big step, because I had given up on education a long time ago. There have been challenges along the way, but everything is a lot easier now. Having Tara there takes a lot of stress off my shoulders, if I’m not feeling OK, then I can just come out with whatever is wrong, she helps me work through it. As well as providing help, advice and support, they organise lots of different activities and treats that as a new mum you really appreciate, like organising a hairdresser to come in and for us to get our hair done – things that really give you a boost of confidence.