Franceska is a young mum who has been supported by Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme (YPP) team over several years. She wanted to share her story.

Franceska says:

"I became pregnant with my son aged 17 and didn’t fully understand the stigma and stereotypes I would face.

I was told that I ‘would struggle’ and ‘had ruined my life’ by having a child at a young age.

Since having my second child, I can also fully reflect on how differently I was treated by some professionals then, in comparison to later, as an ‘older’ parent.

When I was first pregnant, I met Romsey Mill’s YPP team. For the first time, I felt like I was treated like an adult, not a child who had made a life-altering mistake.

Romsey Mill empowered me, and I was reminded that I could do anything I put my mind to, that being a young parent didn’t mean that I would not succeed.

The values that Romsey Mill instilled gave me much needed confidence and have continued to do so for many years.

It has been 10 years since my initial contact with Romsey Mill and now I have a lovely partner, 2 children and in 2021 I completed an access course at a local college.

I am now about to begin the final year of my degree in social work. Being a young parent does not mean you cannot achieve your dreams, even if you may have a few extra hurdles on the way."

DRAFT photo of Franceska and family

For more on this story, read Judith Cork's article, where she asks the question: "Why do we think about young mums the way we do?"