Big Lottery funding awarded to scale up Young Mums' Project in 2015

Big Lottery Funding has been awarded to us to help grow the Young Mums' Project in March 2015, it was revealed today.

The Young Mums' Project, which was piloted in 2012 and in partnership with Linden Children's Centre in Hackney,€“ focuses on supporting young parents with mental health issues through peer-to-peer support, physical activity, wellbeing, play, and overcoming emotional barriers such as stigma, isolation and stereotypes.

The Big Lottery Fund will see 15 new peer support groups open in March 2015 in the London boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Haringey, and will enable us to reach 300 young mothers aged 16-25. Our aim is to support mothers in the community and encourage them to connect with a network of other young mums' and mental health professionals to raise their awareness of mental health issues and the relevant support available.

The Young Mums' Project has addressed the risk factors associated with early pregnancy, most notably the increased likelihood of depressive illness in young mothers (who are the main target group). Women taking part in the 2012 pilot programme reported increased awareness of mental health issues and decreased isolation thanks to support from peers who shared similar experiences and challenges. They were more likely to seek help from professionals and peers for mental health problems, and many took steps towards re-training or gaining employment.

Following the completion of the pilot project in 2012, we produced the Young Mums' Together Guide, offering practical advice for people who would like to set up their own groups. Also available is the Young Mums' Together Report, which provides a full analysis of the project.