Mum who gave birth TWICE in lockdown says she owes sanity to city charity

Jamie Finch, a beneficiary of Home-Start Norfolk, with her four month old son Josh

Jamie Finch, a beneficiary of Home-Start Norfolk, with her four month old son Josh - Credit: Jamie Finch

A woman who gave birth TWICE during the pandemic has said she wouldn't have made it through the year without the help of a life-saving city organisation.

Home-Start Norfolk — based in Norwich but operating county-wide — is a charity pairing up volunteers with struggling parents who have young children.

During the pandemic, home visits had to be scrapped.

But now 'normal life' has resumed referrals are sky-rocketing, with spikes in Norwich and Great Yarmouth being closely followed by the rest of the county.

Jamie Finch, a 32-year-old parent of two, had her world turned upside down by the pandemic.

Jamie Finch's two adorable children - Penny and Josh

Jamie Finch's two adorable children - Penny and Josh - Credit: Jamie Finch


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Her first baby, Penny, was born at the very beginning of the first lockdown - the same week she had to start home schooling her step-son.

A lack of face-to face contact with healthcare professionals, combined with her partner's long working hours, left her feeling "completely abandoned".

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After her referral to Home-Start, she had someone to talk to whenever she needed help.

But then she fell pregnant AGAIN four months later — giving birth to her second child Josh, 13 months after the first.

Jamie Finch with her daughter Penny

Jamie Finch with her daughter Penny, who she gave birth to at the start of the first lockdown - Credit: Jamie Finch

She explained: "It was a bit of a shock to find out I was pregnant again. It wasn't accidental or deliberate. I wanted another child, but didn't think it would happen so soon."

The full-time mum said Home-Start continued to help her after Josh was born in May this year, with a volunteer coming round to keep Penny occupied while Ms Finch breastfeeds and cares for her son.

She said: "It's been tough to say the least. There's been real low points.

Home-Start Norfolk's family day on August 25

Home-Start Norfolk's family day on August 25 - Credit: Home-Start Norfolk

"Penny has the attention span of a gnat. You need eyes all over your body to keep her under control.

"Just having a spare set of hands to help me out in the house, or with shopping trips and doctors appointments, was such a relief. I honestly don't think I'd be here without Home-Start," the Yarmouth mum added.

The charity's chief executive, Daniel Williams, said it was great so many people were reaching out for help, with the organisation supporting 250 families a year through its network of 100-150 volunteers.

Kevin Maguire, Mayor of Norwich, and Caroline Jarrold, Sheriff

Kevin Maguire, Mayor of Norwich, and Caroline Jarrold, Sheriff, have chosen to support Home-Start Norfolk this year as one of their civic charities - Credit: Home-Start Norfolk

Anyone interested in volunteering or referring can call 01603 977040 or email admin@homestartnorfolk.org.

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