Supporting new mothers

Jenny was referred to Shine within Barnardo’s and worked with her mentor for two weeks prior to receiving a custodial sentence for outstanding charges. Jenny and her mentor had begun to form a positive relationship and Jenny contacted her mentor from prison and told her that she was pregnant. Prior to Jenny’s release, the Shine champion spoke with her mentor to provide an update on Jenny’s current situation and to inform the mentor that on release, Jenny would be almost eight months pregnant.

Jenny and her mentor met and discussed the areas that Jenny required support with. These included: ante natal care in the community, housing support (as Jenny was homeless), benefit advice, addictions support, support to link in with the social work department and NHS support for general health. On release from HMP Cornton Vale, Jenny and her mentor had a very busy first day, Jenny was picked from prison by her mentor and they both attended a variety of appointments that Jenny’s mentor had been able to arrange for Jenny prior to her release.

They initially presented at the homeless services and managed to secure Jenny a place in the hostel. After a few weeks, Jenny was moved to temporary accommodation as her mentor was able to advocate that this would be more suitable for Jenny and her new baby.

Jenny was helped with registering with her GP. Jenny and her mentor attended the job centre and applied for benefit support. They also linked in with the community ante natal services and Jenny was supported to attend various appointments and scans at the maternity unit. Jenny did not have all the equipment required to welcome home her new baby, therefore she and her mentor applied for a maternity grant and the mentor was able to source a pram and cradle and other baby equipment for Jenny.

When it came to the time for Jenny to go into hospital to have her baby, a Shine mentor accompanied Jenny and stayed with her throughout the delivery. Jenny and her baby are doing well and the mentee/mentor relationship has now ended and Jenny has been linked in with a local service that provides housing support and family support services.

Thanks to Sacro and Shine for allowing us to share on this blog. For more information about this story and more sign up to the Shine Women’s Mentoring service newsletter.