Teen mums in documentary about their highs and lows

TEENAGE mums in Weston have taken their experiences as young parents and transformed them into a motion picture.

Just Another Teen Mum was created by youngsters who know the struggles of bringing up a child, while they are barely adults themselves.

The documentary, created by Weston College’s Inspire group, follows four young women talking about motherhood, leaving school, their routines and dreams. It highlights how difficult life can be and discusses loneliness, friendship and their futures.

Amber Wilcox, aged 19, of the Bournville, is a member of the Inspire group and took part in the documentary. She has two children, Cameron, aged three and Megan, aged eight months.

Amber said: “I was 15 when I found out I was seven months pregnant. There were no signs and we had used contraception. I was very shocked and so were my parents. I was still at school and everyone was whispering about me.

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“I didn’t realise being a parent could be so isolating and exhausting but I love them. I think parenthood can be hard at any age but I’d see older mothers pushing past me into shops and giving me looks.

“I have felt judged but I’m doing my best to be a good mum and give my children a positive future. I am still with their father who lives a few minutes away with his parents.”

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The group wants to show the film around senior schools as part of a move to reduce teen pregnancy rates. Nationally, rates are falling with latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showing a 5.9 per cent drop, with 38,259 under-18s conceiving in the UK last year.

Amber said: “I enjoyed making the film, it was something really different and I hope other teenagers look at this and think twice.

“I’d gone to other parent and baby groups but felt excluded because I was young. At Inspire we are all in the same situation, it feels friendly and supportive. With support from Inspire I aim to go to Weston College and get a job that works around the children.”

Inspire was set up by the college’s partnership manager Delyse Taylor and support worker Teraza Cooper to encourage young parents back into education or apprenticeships.

Teraza said: “We recognised a lack of flexible educational facilities across North Somerset for teenage parents and mothers-to-be that took into consideration their complex needs.

“At Inspire young parents gain emotional support from each other and develop confidence not only as a parent but in making health choices, financial decisions and future learning opportunities.”

The group meets every Friday from 12-4pm at Ashcombe Children’s Centre, where a free cr�che is available.

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