Bump offers young mums guiding hand

Sally Gray knows the effectcommunitymentoring program Bump can have on young mums.

She was a young mum once and gained plenty from the nationwide program, which offers support and direction and a “non-judgemental ear”.

Bump was started by youth mentoring organisation Raise Foundation in Dee Why in 2009 and is now being run in communities all around Australia.

Newcastle ran its first Bump program this year to great success and is now looking for participants and mentors for 2017.

Ms Gray, now 26 and a mother of three, is the program counsellor for Bump Newcastle.

HELPING YOUNG MUMS: Bump mentor Eloise Sinnott with sons Albert and Lewyn, Bump graduate Rebecca Johnson and Bump counsellor Sally Gray with son Vance.

The program runs fortnightly throughout school terms and offers alternating two-hour workshops and “get-togethers”with mentors.

Ms Gray was 17 when she had her first child and enjoyed that Bump putthe emphasis back on the mother.

“I loved it because it was something about me and for me,” Ms Gray said.

“Most things as a mother are about your kids. The program really helped me bring back that focus on me.”

Ms Gray had left school, but after completing the Bump program studied at TAFE then university.

During the program mums get lunch and babysittingprovided for each session and workshops cover many things includinglife skills,fitness, pamper sessions, goal setting, mental health, healthy relationships, education options and career direction.

Merewether motherEloise Sinnott was keen to be a mentor when she heard about the program through social media.

“After becoming a parent I felt so much more for kids,” Ms Sinnott said. “I felt the best way to help the child was through the mother. I have loved it.”

Belmont’s Rebecca Johnson, 23, has a four-year-old son and another child on the way and found being part of Bump this year hashelped her in many ways.

“It was good to get out of the house and have time for me and it helped me find focus and with dealing with stress at home,” she said.

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