My name is Amanda ketterig, at the early age of 17 i became a young mum to my amazing son Alfie. Although a joyful time, I found it incredibly hard adjusting to the role of a mother.
At the tender age of 4 I lost my dad to lukeamia and then at 8 lost my mum to a heart attack. It was at that point my life hit a standstill, initially I was living in hull with my mother but after her death I moved to London to live with my sister who took full parental responsibility of me at the young age of 20. Growing up with my sister was tough for the both of us she had to play the role of both a mother and sister whilst balancing 2 jobs to support me.
Sadly at the age of 16 our relationship deteriorated and i was evicted from home it was at this point I was moved into a shared housing complex for young people and met my boyfriend, shortly after meeting him I fell pregnant with my son and he said he wanted nothing to do with me or the baby and we broke up. I was left at the age of 17 pregnant with no support from family or friends to fend for myself. I had no hope or any idea how I would cope with what was to come in the following months, until I became friends with one of the girls in my shared accommodation, Amy, a few years older than me, she supported me and taught me so much from how to budget my money to cooking healthy inexpensive meals, she also referred me to a former counselling agency who also helped me to over come many issues i had developed due to my difficult upbringing.
Fast forward 4 years I have a happy healthy 4 year old who is now at nursery, this has given me the opportunity to embark on a short mentoring course and i really feel mentoring is something I would thrive in. I often think of all the help and support Amy gave me to get my life back on track and i honestly believe I would not be where I am today if it wasnt for her. Reflecting of this and having completed the course its laid heavily on my heart that I would like to help other young mums who are isolated and have faced similar circumstances as me wether it be due to bereavment, family break down, domestic violence or any other unfortunate trauma.
One day a week when my son is at nursery, I would like to hire a hall for 2 hours a session where young mums facing hardship could come, meet eachother and talk. I believe the best way to overcome issues is to be heard, understood and not judged. I would also like to facilitate their children at the weekly group in circumstances where their children may be small or not in childcare so the parents are still able to come and get the support and companionship they may need. This concept is similar to a mother and baby group with the only exception this is aimed at younger mums and run by younger mums, this eradicates any stigma or predjudice they may already feel for being young and pregnant or being young and having a child/children.
I am asking anyone reading this for your support in order for this idea to be a success, if you have £5 or £50 to donate, please donate to this good cause, money donated would go towards weekly hire of the venue, toys for the children to play with, refreshments, and printing leaflets about the service to reach as many young mums as possible. Any extra money will go towards other activities for the group such as cooking workshops and activity days out.
Thank your taking time to read this, any support given would be very much appreciated.