Film shows reality for young mothers
YOUNG mums are hoping to dispel the 'myths' surrounding teenage pregnancy through a hard-hitting documentary which tells the story of their lives.
Crime reduction charity Nacro has filmed ten of its clients for a programme which looks set to be used in schools across the region.
The 20-minute production features interviews with young parents discussing how falling pregnant has affected them.
It was premiered at Hanley's Mitchell Arts Centre on Friday night, in front of an audience of the mums, relatives and friends.
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The documentary is part of a raft of activities the charity wants to roll out after receiving £270,000 in lottery funding.
Laura Bailey, who is a project support worker for First Steps, the arm of the charity which helps young mums, said: "We did the film as part of the girls' media project and they came up with the whole idea themselves."
The scheme provides training to both mums and expectant parents, aged between 16 and 24.
Fellow support worker Chrissie Lumley, added: "We feel this sort of initiative gives them a voice as they often feel ignored.
"We work with young mums and also young dads, and it gives them a chance to share their experiences with people their own age. A lot are scared to ask for help."
John Cummings, of media firm Re:Source Me, who put the film together, said: "They have been able to talk about the good times they have experienced, along with the bad times."
As well as the interviews, the film features a spoof of the TV programme The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Participant Dana Bettany, aged 16, from Sandford Hill, is 35 weeks pregnant.
The former St Thomas More Catholic College pupil hopes the film will show that young mums don't want to simply seek state benefits.
She said: "There is no way I want to just sit at home. I am going to college in September to study hairdressing."
Teenager Gabi Farr, from Weston Coyney, had her daughter Sophia Wrench, 16 months ago.
The 19-year-old, who lives in Kidsgrove with the baby's father, Mikey Wrench, also 19, said: "It was unplanned and I was shocked at the time.
"It has been great to come to Nacro and meet some new people. In the future, I would like to run my own tattoo studio."
Aimee Pickthorne, aged 20, from Tunstall, who has a one-year-old son, Warren Potts-Hall, added: "Coming to the sessions is a break for us and we support each other. In the future, I'd like to work with disabled children."