Giving families best start

KIRKCALDY;'Launch of new family support group for mums and dads to be at the Cottage, Cawdor Crescent;' NICHOLA ALLISON, childrens therapautic worker, CAROL MURRAY, family health midwife, mum CLAURE HYND with 8 wk old son ZACK, MARGARET CAMPBELL, health visitor and KELLY RODGER, childrens support worker with JENNA HYND, age 2. 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY;'Launch of new family support group for mums and dads to be at the Cottage, Cawdor Crescent;' NICHOLA ALLISON, childrens therapautic worker, CAROL MURRAY, family health midwife, mum CLAURE HYND with 8 wk old son ZACK, MARGARET CAMPBELL, health visitor and KELLY RODGER, childrens support worker with JENNA HYND, age 2. 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

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children of families living in a deprived area of Kirkcaldy are to be offered the best start in life through new groups being set up at the Cottage Family Centre.

A ‘Bumps and Babies’ group will start teaching mums healthcare and parenting skills even before their babies are born, while the first-ever group in Fife for expectant fathers is also due to start later this month.

And between the services and support offered by the groups it is hoped that families will be able to work together to provide the best possible care for their new arrivals.

Funding for the projects has come through the Big Lottery funded Family Ties group at the Cottage Family Centre in Templehall, led by Sharon Colville,

Mums-to-be will learn about subjects from nutrition and bonding with their newborns, mums about feeding and parenting skills, and dads about how they can support their partners through pregnancy and how they can bond with and help care for their babies.

Groups will be led by Carol Murray, family health midwife; Margaret Campbell, health visitor; Nichola Allison, children’s therapeutic worker with Family Ties; Kelly Rodgers, children’s worker and Gary Laverton, family worker.

Creche

A creche to provide childcare for families who already have children will also be provided thanks to funding from Marie Renaud through the NHS Flourishing Infant Project.

The new dads’ group – which has developed from the highly successful Dad’s Garden Project at the Cottage, is set to encourage expectant fathers to play as big a role as possible in the family.

“Dads-to-be and new dads can often feel isolated, as all the attention is on the mother and baby, and this group aims to support them and teach them what to expect and how they can be involved from day one,” explained Pauline Buchan, service co-ordinator at the Cottage.

“Research has shown that relationships can often break down within the first three or four months of a baby being born, and that is what we are here to try to prevent.”

One-to-one counselling sessions and drop-in ante-natal sessions are also being planned as part of the new groups.

For more details call Pauline Buchan on (01592) 269489.