GROUP WORK A large part of our service provision is group work. Each group is guided and shaped by the young women who are part of them. The programmes are based on the needs, interests and issues of the young women who are part of the group, and a strong emphasis is placed on the group members planning, designing and evaluating their programmes. This makes sure that young women have real ownership of their groups, they are valued, respected and have the opportunity to learn new skills that meet their goals, realise their own dreams and aspirations for the future. To support young mothers access our groups, we have on-site childcare provided by The Creche Mobile Project, as young mothers tell us they want their babies near to them. Creche places are paid for through the government funded Care to Learn scheme and we provide administrative support to get places and finances set up. Group Work sessions include: Positive Body Image, Self Esteem, Confidence Building, Healthy Relationships, Independent Living Skills, Cooking, Crafts, Parenting Skills, Family Nurturing, Residentials, Rights and Responsibilities, Bullying, Team Building, Social Media, Internet Safety, CSE, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Health, Drugs and Alcohol, Friendships YOUNG PARENTS GROUP We have a specialist Young Parent’s Worker who delivers a bespoke Young Parent’s Programme and also provides mediation for young parents. Many parenting programmes that are offered to young parents work with either Mam or Dad separately, ours is a little bit different. Although we do work with Mams and Dads individually when needed, our Young Parent’s Programme is for both parents so they can learn and explore parenting together, something not offered anywhere else. Another aspect of this role is to provide mediation to young parents in times of need. This can be between parents, family, or mediating with professionals if necessary. Groups are help on a weekly basis with support sessions delivered that meet the needs of the group, for example benefit claims, childcare arrangements and accessing mental health support, and also practical sessions which have included independent living, cooking on a budget and safe sleeping. ONE TO ONE WORK Young Mother's Outreach We are part of the NHS Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in Gateshead which means that every young woman who is 19 years old and under, and is pregnant, is referred to the Project's Young Mother's Outreach Worker by their midwife. We directly contact each young woman and visit them at a time and place that is suitable for them. The primary aim of this role is to offer whatever support we can which could be a space in one of our groups, advocacy, offering guidance, information and signposting to other agencies for more specialised support. Freedom Programme Young women and girls between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence, almost triple the national average. To address this, we have staff who are qualified to deliver the Freedom Programme on site at Gladstone Terrace and also as an outreach service with partner agencies. The programme consists of 12 weekly sessions that are designed to give information, rather than advice or therapy, to young women who are survivors of domestic abuse. The aim is to help women understand and make sense of everything that has happened, and to make them aware of the danger signs. The sessions examine the how beliefs and attitudes of abusive men impact not only on their actions, but also on our responses to them. The programme looks in detail at how children and young people are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and at how much their lives are improved when the abuse is no longer there which is particularly important for the young women in our groups. Child Sexual Exploitation We provide sessions on a one to one basis that provide support, information and guidance on issues relations to Child Sexual Exploitation. These sessions usually last for about one hour a week and are at a time and place that suit the young woman best. We work on issues and topics that are important to each individual and aim to be flexible and responsive to what is going on at that point in the young woman’s life. All sessions are informal and nurturing, giving each young woman a safe place to talk and explore her experiences. Sessions include internet safety, positive relationships, the Grooming Line, positive self-esteem, sexual health, confidence building, pregnancy, family breakdown, and sending and/or receiving sexualised images. We also provide advice and information to parents and guardians where appropriate. Counselling We offer an ‘in-house’ counselling service to young women and are able to support them with a variety of issues and help them to explore how they are feeling, in making decisions about what to do next, and in talking to social workers about problems they need support with. Young women have told us that they access counselling at the Project because they feel safe, they feel accepted and not judged, and they know who they will see. Our counsellor also delivers mental health sessions to our groups and has delivered sessions on mental health, post-natal depression and will address any other issues or topics that the young women ask for. The sessions are engaging and encourage young women to share their stories and experiences and look at what they already do, and how they might cope more effectively in the future. These sessions ensure a positive relationship between our counsellor and our groups and give young women a time and place to ask questions and explore topics that are often stigmatised and hidden.