Carla is 20 years old and is mum to 7-month-old Esmé.  

Carla and her partner Brandon have been supported by Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme (YPP) since Carla was pregnant and both parents attended the YPP antenatal course, which is run jointly by the YPP team and midwives from the Rosie Hospital 

Carla has reflected on this time and the support that she received from the YPP team during her pregnancy and says:  

 “Romsey Mill has helped me so much throughout my pregnancy journey and I would do this all again.”  

Since giving birth to Esmé, Carla has continued to participate in the groups and courses that Romsey Mill organises for young parents The distance from their home outside of Cambridge to Romsey Mill Centre was a real challenge for Carla, when wanting to attend YPP sessions, and she needed to build her confidence when using public transport on her own.  

Christian Osborne (Young Parents Development Worker) has continued to support Carla and Brandon throughout these vital months before and after the birth of their baby with regular home visits, offering support with a variety of things including: preparing and submitting a housing application; accessing Romsey Mill’s antenatal course; guidance on ages and stages of baby development; and, preparing for the emotional changes that are associated with becoming a parent.  

One of the fundamental areas of overall support that Christian identified and assisted with was building Carla’s confidence. One of the ways that this was achieved was through assisting and enable Carla to attend and participate, with Esmé, in a couple of the YPP trips to parks during the summer, including a visit to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  

Towards the end of the summer, Christian asked Carla if she would be interested in taking part in the Healthy Eating on a Budget cooking course, that YPP was running during the autumn. This course helps to teach young parents to plan and prepare nutritious meals, in a cost-effective way, and develop essential skills in cooking and budgeting.    

Although Carla agreed to participate in the course, she was very nervous when she attended the first session. With encouragement and guidance from Christian and other YPP staff and volunteers involved in delivering the course, Carla was able to make a delicious vegetable pasta dish during the initial session, which she then took home to share and enjoy with her family. Building on this success, Carla has since added a range of meals, including curry, to her culinary repertoire!   

Christian Osborn Christian has noticed the change in Carla, as a result of the support offered by YPP.  

 Christian says:  

 “It is a joy to see Carla growing in confidence. Carla's willingness to engage with the Young Parents Programme has enabled her to gain skills in cooking as well as developing social and life skills. Esmé is benefiting from her mum’s newfound confidence, which has helped them to attend a toddler group close to where they live, as well as continuing to come to Romsey Mill activities.”  

Carla herself acknowledges the positive impact of engaging with YPP 

Carla says: 

''Going to Romsey Mill has changed my life. I now know a lot of things after going to Romsey Mill and I feel like I could never have done it without the team there, helping me. 

However, Carla also sees that she is responsible for the positive changes she is experiencing too She says:  

“I think I could say that I am proud of myself.”