Young parenthood in the Hunter New England area continues to be among the highest in New South Wales.
In response to the region's need, nib foundation has partnered with The Place: Charlestown Community Centre to reinstate the Young Parents Group to support young families.
The program, initially developed in 2013, aims to help improve young parents' mental and social wellbeing and build their capacity as parents by facilitating social connections and providing access to training and support. Manager of The Place, Lynda Little, said the continuation of the much-needed program would not be possible without nib foundation's community grant of $35,000.
"Due to a lack of funding we simply couldn’t sustain the facilitated group sessions, and almost immediately we saw a decrease in participation," Ms Little said.
"We have learned that the most effective and sustainable model is a collaborative approach with other agencies including the Family Action Centre, St Vincent de Paul Society – Early Links, the Young Parents Playgroup and professionally skilled volunteers, but we needed help to deliver this.
"The support by nib foundation is immeasurable in terms of the impact it will have on the lives of many young parents. There will always be young parents beginning their journey of parenthood in need of support and understanding," she added.
nib foundation Executive Officer, Amy Tribe, said the foundation was impressed by the dedication shown by The Place to deliver the program to the community in the face of financial strain.
"We recognised The Place required assistance to continue to positively impact young families by providing high quality facilitated sessions with a planned program of workshops and speakers. The group clearly value the guidance, referral, and sense of safety and comfort created by skilled and experience staff," said Ms Tribe.
Young Parents Group will continue to be held on Fridays at The Place, 12pm to 2pm. All young parents and their children are welcome to join this welcoming and supportive group.
For more information on Young Parents Group contact The Place on (02) 4032 5500.