Dina had her first child at 20. After her baby was born, it was admitted to the hospital. It left Dina worried about the baby getting ill again and losing all her confidence. At the time, she was struggling with health professionals, but then a ‘ray of sunshine’ came to her front door.
Struggled with other professionals
“I just remember a lot of horrible midwives and people that were supposed to come and help me. They were making me feel bad. I remember Ayoola coming to my house, a ray of sunshine coming to my door.
“Being honest, I was over everything. I wasn’t interested in working with no one. I thought I am not going to engage when they [St Michael’s] come. I knew straight away she wasn’t going to be like the rest. From there, she got me out of the house, socialising and building up my confidence little by little.”
Mental health stressed
“I feel like I got paranoid about leaving the house because when my daughter was born, she got sick. I was worried if we went out, we would pick up germs.”
“Ayoola would come and get me. She made me feel comfortable if that makes sense. There were no added strings, no one talking about you. She is very understanding. She would pick me up on the way to the group. I am so thankful for that.”
Good for my children and mum
“Going to the group made my children feel more comfortable and to be themselves. Going to the activities, they made little friendship groups that allowed us the create mummy friendship groups, have playdates, and have the opportunity to bond and gel.”
Dina also made a friend for life
“I walked away with a solid friend from that group. If you had said, I was going to be so close with that person, that we were going to be friends and look after each other’s children, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“Members of staff have this non-judgemental attitude when they are dealing with you. They are genuine conversations; they give you another perspective, somewhere to bounce ideas off.”
“They don’t give you the answers, they allow you to speak and say, ‘lets put a pen on paper.’”
We asked Dina what she would say to other young mums who were in her position.
“Try it. What is the worst that could happen? At least you can say you tried, and it happened even if it isn’t for you.”
She laughs, “I am very thankful that Ayoola came and forced me to come to the group, I am actually so thankful. Even my eldest still remembers Ayoola. And sometimes, we see Lorraine around, and it’s nice to see other staff in Brixton. The other day I saw Kathy; they remember her too.”
“Don’t get me wrong, all the staff are great, but Ayoola is the one that made time for me. She would take me out for a cup of tea to a café, and she is who I would call.”
If you know a young parent who might need some extra support from one of our young parent practitioners or by coming to one of our groups, please make a referral. We are so pleased someone made that referral for Dina.