A year’s worth of success stories are being celebrated as Family Start marks its first anniversary in Central Otago.
Family Start, offered through Anglican Family Care, provides support and advice to pregnant mums and parents of babies who are living in difficult circumstances.
Kimberley O’Connor and her 10-month-old daughter Rylee White are among those who have benefited from the initiative over recent months.
Ms O’Connor said being a solo mum meant she met the criteria to get help through the service, which she has valued.
“Family Start really helped me through some difficult times – they provide a great confidential service and made me feel very comfortable and more confident in myself to get back to a healthy, positive life with my daughter.”
Ms O’Connor was visited by a Family Start representative once a week who talked to her about safe living for her and her family.
“We have benefited greatly from the Family Start programme because they have equipped us with new life skills and made me more confident as a mother,” she said.
“Family Start have introduced me to budgeting services, great programmes and groups to get involved in, e.g. mums groups and/or family parenting groups.”
“We have benefited greatly from the Family Start programme because they have equipped us with new life skills and made me more confident as a mother.” – Kimberley O’Connor
She said Family Start had always been there to assist in tough situations and to provide information when required.
Ms O’Connor, who is based in Roxburgh, credits her social worker for helping with many of those situations.
“[She] makes regular visits to me at home and we now have fortnightly visits. Each time she still makes me feel more confident that I’m creating the best possible life for Rylee and I, and it’s a safe and positive environment for her to grow in.”
Family Start celebrated its first anniversary at Community House in Alexandra last Thursday.