Mentoring program helps mums in need
FROM attending meetings at court or the department of child services to sitting down for a cup of coffee for support, Lynda Roundhill said there was a definite need for help for local mums.
She is a mentor for Hopelink's Mentoring Mums program, something she never expected to do.
In the past six years Mrs Roundhill has supported 10 mums through a range of issues, including visitation rights, substance addiction and isolation.
"Going in to a meeting with child services where some of these mums aren't mentally stable and being told 'I'm sorry, you can't have your baby back', it's a case of just physically holding on to them and nurturing them, making sure they are okay.
"You know it's the best thing for the child but it can be really heart wrenching."
"We help a lot of the mums keep off the drugs, you see a lot of mental health issues too, including bipolar and depression," she said.
She spoke of one mum she had previously worked with. It was unlikely she could keep her baby when he was born.
"I worked with her for four hours a week and she was able to take him home - it was so lovely to be part of that.
"It's extremely rewarding just to see the progress these mums make."
Previous mums mentored by Mrs Roundhill would keep in contact with her - she said this was just one of the rewarding parts of the program.
"It's a two-way street - the mums have to work hard too.
"We are with them for quite a long time and a lot of mums and I stay friends, they text me and we catch up for coffee," she said.
What she and the other 12 mum mentors and the dad mentor had in common was a passion for nurturing and helping people in need.
"I mean we all have struggles with children but I never thought I would be helping other mums.
"The group as a whole is very caring. It's a case of seeing the need (for help) and giving back to the community and wanting to be there for somebody."
The mentors meet once a month to share stories and ideas.
"We support each other ... it is very rewarding to hear success stories. It's not often we have mums who can't be helped."