Office opens to help mothers stay at school


A milestone was marked for the pioneering Waterford Student Mothers' Group this week with the opening of its first full-time office in the city.

The office, which will function as a contact point and resource centre for young school-going mothers, is, like the organisation itself, the first of its kind in the State.

The group's co-ordinator, Ms Bernadette Phillips, said the organisation had received calls from people all around the State seeking advice on how to set up similar groups.

The office, which will be staffed full-time by Ms Phillips, has been made possible by a £70,000 State grant allocated from the budget for special needs in education.

The aim of the project is to help young mothers stay in full-time education.

The group is run by a committee made up of adults and teenage mothers.

Its first annual report last August explained the group's objectives and identified the obstacles encountered by young mothers wishing to return to full-time education after the birth of their babies.

The new premises will enable the group to develop a consistent and immediate service for young mothers, Ms Phillips said.

"When young people in that situation need attention, they need it now," she explained.

The ground-floor office is on Summerland Square, off the Yellow Road in Waterford.

The phone number for the Waterford Student Mothers' Group is (051) 379931.