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Good News from YHES House

When I first had Nicko, my life was so difficult. I was single – his Dad wasn’t in the picture – and I didn’t have a great relationship with my family, so I felt very alone. I couldn’t live at home, so I had to try and get myself set up so that I could look after me and Nicko. I was only 17.I recently started coming to the young mother’s group after my doctor told me about it, and it’s been fantastic. Being a young single mother can be so isolating. Sometimes, coming to this group is the only outing I get in the week. Otherwise, it’s just me and Nicko.Not only is it great for Nicko to socialise with other babies, it’s been so great for me too – being able to be around other young mums like me who understand what it’s like. I have other friends, but they don’t know what it’s like to be single, alone, young, and looking after a baby. The friendships I’ve made here, the connections and support I have, not only from the other mums but from YHES House as well, is amazing. I know I’m not alone and there’s help if I need it.

Eliza Bradbury, 19, and son Nicko

Eliza is building a brighter future for herself and her son Nicko through YHES House.

When Eliza Bradbury had her son, Nicko, at 17, she was single and alone – Nicko’s father wasn’t in the picture, and her relationship with her family was strained. What should have been an exciting time was incredibly hard, as Eliza tried to support herself and create a stable home for herself and Nicko.

“I found out about YHES House’s young parenting program through my doctor, so I began coming to the mum’s group,” says Eliza.

YHES House is a safe, youth-friendly community hub located on the Gold Coast. No matter their concern, young people aged 12 – 21 years are welcomed to this non-judgemental space where they are listened to and respected. YHES House provides a drop-in service including shower, laundry and internet facilities, case work support, and various workshops and programs, including the young parents program, which helps young parents up to the age of 25 and is the only one of its kind on the Gold Coast.

“It’s been fantastic. Being a young single mother can be so isolating. Sometimes, coming to this group is the only outing I get in the week. Otherwise, it’s just me and Nicko.

“Not only is it great for Nicko to socialise with other babies, it’s been so great for me too – being able to be around other young mums like me who understand what it’s like. I have other friends, but they don’t know what it’s like to be single, alone, young, and looking after a baby. The friendships I’ve made here, the connections and support I have, not only from the other mums but from YHES House as well, is amazing. I know I’m not alone and there’s help if I need it.”

I started with the young parents program when I was pregnant and have gone all the way through to now being in the young mums group with Zahli. I am so grateful for the pregnancy program. I started going to a pregnancy program at the hospital, which was full of older couples and as a young single woman, I felt really judged. It was awful. I went once, and never went back. But the pregnancy program at YHES House was amazing. They still taught all the same stuff that the hospital program does, but all the other participants were young women like me, so they understood what I was going through. Now that I’ve had Zahli, coming to the mother’s group is great; she has fun with the other kids and I can spend time with other young mums like me. We all get along really well and we can share our experiences and give each other advice. Plus, if I need help with anything else, the staff at YHES House can provide referrals and services to help me. I’m so glad I found this place. I’ve already referred it to a bunch of people I know, and I think it’s so vital for the Gold Coast.

Aoife McCann, 22, and her daughter Zahli

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