Vital teenage parent lifeline set to be axed

Kirkcaldy Teen Parent Project
Kirkcaldy Teen Parent Project

A GROUNDBREAKING initiative to help vulnerable teenage mums and dads in Kirkcaldy is facing the chop due to lack of funding.

The Kirkcaldy Teen Parent Project, which has helped more than 54 young parents and their children since January 2012, is being forced to close after Fife Gingerbread, the organisation which runs it, was told earlier this month that its funding was not being extended after September.

The project, which supports teen parents to develop peer networks, boost self esteem and promote positive parenting, was funded by the Early Years Early Action Fund from November 2011 until July, and then the Lloyds TSB Henry Duncan Award funded an extension to September.

Victoria Lonie who regularly attends the teen parent groups at Gallatown Nursery, said: “It’s a great place to meet other young parents. It has helped me to make friends and get a place at college. It’s a shame others won’t have access to this service.”

As well as establishing playgroups, the project has supported 15 teens to access college courses, helped 12 attend a healthy eating cooking course, and five to achieve Paediatric First Aid Certificates.

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, who attended one of the teen parent groups and spoke to the mums, said: “The groups provide a great opportunity for young parents and their children to socialise and share their experiences and concerns and to feel less isolated.

“Since its inception, the project has supported teen parents in many different ways.

‘‘It’s essential that everything possible is done to secure funding to allow it to continue in the future and I will continue to work with them in any way I can to make sure that this happens.”

Louise Morris, support worker, said: “This has been a great opportunity, and it has been very rewarding to see them develop and flourish as great parents. It would be a real loss to the community and other young parents if it didn’t continue.”