Mum who gave birth TWICE in lockdown says she owes sanity to city charity
- 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.
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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.
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.
"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.
Anyone interested in volunteering or referring can call 01603 977040 or email email@example.com.