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Homeless mums and babies project CROP

Karis Mother and Baby project: Sarah’s story

Karis is one of Oasis Community Housing’ three Mother and Baby projects, located in Gateshead and London, providing supported accommodation for young mums aged 16 – 25 years old. A mother and baby, like Sarah and her little girl.

Sarah’s story

Sarah gave birth to her daughter three months after moving into one of the charity’s Karis houses.

Being a single parent, Sarah understandably found it difficult. Yet Sarah was also struggling with the impact of her previous relationship – where she had suffered both coercive and physical domestic abuse.

Sarah’s emotions would often spill over and, as she continued to struggle, concerns grew around her capacity to care for her baby.

Our Karis project team worked closely with the health visitor to support Sarah, and additional support was gained for her through a nursery nurse, who helped Sarah with parenting and putting routines in place for her and her baby.

However, Sarah continued to struggle with her emotions and anxiety, and she would often lash out at her Oasis Community Housing support worker. We made a referral for weekly counselling sessions and Sarah also visited her GP for additional support with her mental health.

Since the counselling began, Sarah has started to feel calmer and has been able to manage her anger much more effectively. She’s found herself more motivated and able to focus on moving forward.

Recently Sarah told her support worker that she likes art, so we applied for funding to buy her some brushes, paints and other art materials – which Sarah says has helped her feel more relaxed and benefited her mental health. Earlier this year, the project also supported Sarah in enrolling on a 6-week slow cooker project and, most recently, Sarah and her daughter have started attending a local messy play group.

Sarah shares that she still has her bad days however, these are far less than they were and Sarah feels better able to manage these. She is proactively encouraging her little girl’s development and is providing an environment that is stimulating and loving.

Over the past two years, the team at Karis has given Sarah a stable and safe environment; consistently offering a blanket of support to enable her to access the services she has needed to help her positively move forward. We’re now helping Sarah and her daughter get ready to move on into their own private tenancy – where we hope she will continue to grow and positively move forward.

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