A Brighton-based community project has launched a campaign to support homeless mums and their babies across the city.
Release Counselling and Therapy for Women is looking to raise £2,000 to fund its Mummyshock counselling course for young mums who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Mummyshock provides a supportive space for women to talk, in a safe and friendly environment.
Each week, professionally trained therapists explore different topics, such as changes in identity, relationships, coping strategies, support networks and more.
The campaign comes at a time when the number of people sleeping rough in Brighton and Hove has risen to the extent that the city now has the third highest population of street sleepers in England.
Conservative estimates suggest that on any given night there are more than 80 people sleeping on the city’s streets and there are also local 272 hostel places for single homeless people.
Such is the demand for those hostel places that earlier this year there was a waiting list of more than 150 people.
Many of the city’s homeless population are women – including some mums and expectant mothers.
One in five mums suffer from a mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety, either during pregnancy or during the first year after childbirth and Ellen Baldwin, founder of Release Counselling and Therapy for Women, is determined that women do not miss out on vital support just because they happen to be homeless.
She said: “Being homeless and becoming a mum for the first time can be very challenging.
“The Mummyshock course will help the new mums to grow in confidence and resilience, as well as feeling more attached and bonded to their baby- helping everyone get the best start.”
Donations can be made online at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mummyshock-course-at-homeless-mum-baby-hostel/