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Supporting Young Fathers Network

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T-BAG (Teens-Babies Advice Group), Halifax -
Meeting young fathers needs.

The Information Shop for Young people (part of the Connexions Centre in Halifax) has encouraged and supported a group of young parents (mums and dads) to get together to form their own support group. T-BAG is a support and advice group foryoung parents aged 16-25 years living in Calderdale. The group provides (peer) support and offer the chance to meet other young parents and make new friends in a relaxed and child-friendly environment. There is a wide range of information available to young parents including advice on health, education and training, money and benefits, sexual health, housing, and jobs. The group meets every Friday 11-1.00pm, children are welcome and separate crèche facilities are provided. Young parents also take advantage of all the other support services on offer in the centre. Located within the town centre, the Information Shop is easy to access being supported by a local train station and regular bus services nearby.

Work with teenage fathers was developed by building on already existing work with young teenage mums who were accessing the Information Shop and wanted support that felt inclusive. Young fathers and male partners of the young mothers asked that they be included in such support. Because the group is based within the Connexions Centre, overheads and costs are minimal. T-BAG is steered by the young parents (mums and dads) themselves who meet once a month to ensure the project remains relevant to the needs of its members. At the time of writing, approximately five teenage fathers and 6-7 teenage mothers attend the group regularly.

"It doesn't run off any money. We run it under the umbrella of the Information Shop. There's no expense. We've done a few fundraising events - a sale at Christmas with baby toys to generate some income for the hardship fund - but we don't need anything as far as premises, 'cos we've got premises. And staff - it's part of the staff's development to do such things - We have just received a grant - Children's Network Fund. They gave us £1,000 for the group, for expenses, developing the group, and going on trips and things."

Contact:
Olinda Olekeswycz (Project Manager)
Tel: +44(0)1422 330 033

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