I was referred to Elizabeth House when I was 16 and I was 8 months pregnant.
I was living at home and I was horrible to my mam, I would always shout and swear at her. I wouldn’t get out of bed when my midwife and health visitor would come out. I never attended any appointments. There were problems with people in the area and our windows got put out. My social worker arranged a visit to Elizabeth House.
When I came to visit I didn’t think it was homely. I hated it. The staff showed me around, I was so angry that I cried when I saw the bedroom. I didn’t want to move in. When my social worker came to pick me up the next day I wouldn’t come out of my room and I refused to move in.
A couple of weeks later I had my baby. When I was in the hospital my social worker rang to say that unless I went to Elizabeth House I wouldn’t be able to have my baby with me. I had no choice, I had to go. When I moved in I still didn’t like it. I stayed in my room with my baby for most of the first week.
I wasn’t sure at first about the other girls. I had an argument with one of them and left Elizabeth House. I wouldn’t go back and my support worker rang me and persuaded me to go back. There was one lass there that I liked and that helped a bit.
After a few weeks I started to like it. I got to know a few of the girls and the staff which was better. It started to feel more like home. At first I had a strict plan from my social worker, I couldn’t stay out and had to be back by 6pm.
The staff said I was a good mam and were able to tell social services that I was doing well. Because of this I was able to stay out and didn’t have to be in as early. Everyone that was working with me could see a change in me. I had calmed down and I was able to look after by baby. After 9 months my baby didn’t have to be on a child protection plan anymore. I was so happy.
When I was at Elizabeth House I learned how to manage my money. I learned how to keep my baby safe in the home. I attended loads of health sessions with the nurse who comes into the house. I learned how to deal with conflict. I made meals with support and now I can make bolognaise, mince and dumplings and home-made pizza. I also learned how to do my own washing and cleaning.
I am getting on with my mam and sisters much better now which wouldn’t have happened if I was still living at home.
I learned how to be a mam and got to keep my baby which is brilliant.
Being at Elizabeth House was an excellent experience and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
I have had a chance to talk to other girls in my position when they have come to the house. I have been able to say to them that it is a god place to be, it’s not what you expect and the staff will help you.
I have just moved out of Elizabeth House. I was sad when I left because it was my babies first home. I have a lot of good memories here like when my baby first crawled. I made a few good friends too. I liked the staff at Elizabeth House, they were really nice. My support worker still visits me and helps me when I need it.
It is really good that Elizabeth House is there to help people like me.