Bethel’s primary targeted service is our Doula Service (supporting isolated pregnant women before, during, and after childbirth). We have recognised that despite providing antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal support, around the clock and specialist ‘wrap around’ care; we are unable to provide the emotional support needed to support these vulnerable women transition through this difficult time in their lives.
We have seen an increase in young mothers (18-29) accessing this service and we wish to address the barriers they are facing through developing a peer support programme which will help to reduce isolation, help women form strong and meaningful relationships and moreover, expand our current services to meet their unmet needs. Currently, we support a high number of asylum seeker women living in our area of provision. Their access to our service, it has highlighted that a high proportion of these women have arrived alone, fleeing war/persecution or have been trafficked into the UK.
This project changes the lives of women who have been through various difficulties and life challenges, to enable them to become parents, who can be confident in looking after their child/children well. The Doula service provides a safe and non-judgemental support to women of all ages whose lives have taken a turn for the worst. The programme is heavily reliant upon volunteers, who are doing a fantastic job supporting vulnerable women across Birmingham.
Our aim is to effectively assess those women who are most in need. We wish to employ an Assessment/Outreach Support Worker (AOSW) to help us to identify women who need our support. Their role would be to go where others fear to tread, visiting hostels, initial accommodation (for those seeking asylum) and homes of friends or family, due to these women having nowhere else to go. The money we raise will help to employ this AOSW for a project that is well in demand.