Our project only works in Leicestershire County, but we hope that if you live outside Leicestershire, we can give you some information that you might find helpful. You can also click here to get to our Useful Contacts section.
What benefits am I entitled to?
If you are pregnant you can get Healthy Start vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables. If you are pregnant and until your baby is 1 year old, you can get vitamins from your local Sure Start Children's Centre free of charege. You can get vitamins for your baby from 1 month old.
You might also be able to claim Income Support, depending on how old you are and who you live with, as well as the Sure Start Maternity grant of up to £500.
If you are a young parent you will be able to claim Child Benefit and you might also be able to claim Income Support or Tax Credits.
Benefits rules change sometimes and we don't want to give you the wrong information as so much depends on your personal circumstances.
The best way to find out what you might be entitled to is to speak to your nearest Job Centre, or click here for the .gov website benefit adviser page.
Benefits & Money Advice
The Citizens Advice Bureau offer advice on benefits - www.adviceguide.org.uk
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk offers advice on money and benefits, visit their website or call them on 0300 500 5000
www.stepchange.org is a debt advice charity. Visit their website or call them on 0800 138 1111
Child Benefits Enquiry Line 0845 302 1444
Care to Learn 0800 121 8989 - funding for childcare
National Debt Line 0800 808 400
Emotional Support & Friendship for Young Parents
Home Start schemes – Offer support, friendship and practical help for families, where at least one child is under 5. Contact your local scheme for details on: 0116 258 7900
Cry-sis – Call 08451 228 669 , if your baby cries a lot visit www.cry-sis.org.uk
Gingerbread – 0808 802 0925 Support for single parents, or visit www.gingerbread.org.uk
Family Lives- 0808 800 2222 Help and information for parents or visit www.familylives.co.uk
Samaritans – 0845 7 90 90 90 for 24 hour confidential, emotional support if you have feeling of distress or despair or visit www.samaritans.org
Children Centres – your local Sure Start Children's Centre can be a great source of support.
Care to Learn – if you are under 20 and want to continue, or start learning or training, you can get help with childcare costs. Care to Learn will not affect your own or your family’s benefits. You do not have to be receiving benefits to have childcare paid for through Care to Learn www.gov.uk/caretolearn
Helpline: 0800 121 8989
Leaving your child in childcare can be daunting, we have created a list of questions to help you to decide. Click here to download a list of questions that you might want to ask a potential childcare provider.
Your Education, Training & Career
Your local centre can provide help and support to young people aged 16-19 (or up to 25 for young people with a learning disability or difficulty). For advice and information on training, education and careers, visit
National Careers Service - provies information, advice and guidance to help make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice. This is supported by qualified careers advisors. Click here to find out more.
Post Birth Contraception
Contraception might be the last thing on your mind but unless you want to become a parent again really soon – you need to give this some thought!
You need to start using contraception from 3 weeks (21 days) after the birth of your baby.
The best contraception for you is a very personal decision – here are some things to consider:
• You can use male and female condoms as soon as you want to.
• You can start to use the contraceptive implant from three weeks after the birth.
• If you are not breastfeeding then you can use the combined pill, the contraceptive vaginal ring and the contraceptive patch from three weeks after the birth.
• You can start the progestogen-only pill any time after the birth.
• It is usually recommended that you wait until six weeks after the birth to start the contraceptive injection because then you are less likely to have heavy and irregular bleeding. It is possible to use it earlier if there are no other alternatives you find acceptable.
• Unless the IUD or IUS can be inserted within the first 48 hours of the birth, insertion should be delayed until four weeks after birth
For more detailed information visit http://bit.ly/16bUH79
Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI's)
Chlamydia – Up to 1 in 10 young people may have this but don’t know because they have no symptoms. To find out more or to order a free, confidential home testing kit though the post visit www.fillthepot.info or Text Testme1 to 88020 with your name and address and we will send you a free test.
Genital Warts – Warts can take a year or more to develop after infection with the wart virus. Warts are not always visible.
Gonorrhoea – you may have a thick coloured discharge from your vagina or penis and need to pee more often.
All the above are easy to treat, but if left untreated can have serious consequences including infertility. Treatment is straight forward so don’t be embarrassed to seek help. To avoid getting an STI or HIV, practice safe sex (i.e. use a male/female condom) every time you have sex.
Alcohol comes in many colours, strengths and tastes. However one thing is for sure, too much of any alcoholic drink can lead to a good night turning into a night you may not want (or be able) to remember.
When it comes to alcohol and sex, bear in mind the following;
• Alcohol can affect your physical co-ordination and decision making abilities.
• Don’t drink so much that you are unable to say NO- to anything
• Don’t assume it will never happen to you; that can put you at risk
• Drinking quickly, especially on an empty stomach, will affect your ability to remain in control
• Alcohol can affect your judgement – you may end up doing things you may regret later.
For help to stop drinking
Alcoholics Anonymous National Helpline- 0845 769 755 or visit www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
You can also contact Alcoholics Anonymous if you are worried about the drinking of family members.
Drugs can make you think, feel and act differently and yes they may lead to feeling chilled out, relaxed and happy but they can also lead to you feeling paranoid and anxious if you the good trips turn bad.
To get clear information about alcohol and drugs go to SMST young people’s website: www.drugs.org.uk
If you are using drugs think about the following:
• At a time when you want to look your best, drugs can really mess with your good looks. Regular use can affect the condition of your skin and hair.
• Drug use can really affect your health both in short and long-term. Problems can range from being sick and dizzy to heart damage.
• The few hours of a high can result in a couple of days of feeling down and depressed
• Drugs can make you vulnerable and if other people see that you are high you canbecome an easy target of crimes such as drink spiking and theft.
• You can get in trouble with the police if you are caught with drugs. A criminal record is probably something you would rather do without!
• The best way to avoid all this is not to take drugs, but if you do take them, make sure you know all the facts first!
For help and advice locally about drugs please visit www.swanswell.org.uk or contact 0300 303 5000
Legal highs’ are substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs (such as cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy) but that are not controlled by law. Just the fact that a substance is sold as legal to possess, doesn’t mean that it’s safe - you can’t really be sure what’s in a ‘legal high’ that you’ve bought, or been given, or what effect it’s likely to have on you. Get help, advice and information on legal highs and know the risks at www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk
Most smokers wish they had never started in the first place. Ask yourself –why bother?
• Living with even one smoker makes it more likely you will try smoking yourself. Encourage smokers you live with to take the pledge and Step Right Out.
• The younger you are when you start the more likely you are to become a heavy smoker.
• Smoking seriously affects your health. Your skin will age prematurely, your teeth will discolour and your breathing and circulation will be affected.
• Your breath, clothes, skin and hair always smell of stale tobacco
• Smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs more that £2,500 each year. Can you afford it?
• As bad as store-bought cigs are, illegal and cheap whites are even worse. Illegal cigarettes very often mean other crime is brought into your community.
If you have started and want help to stop:
STOP! is a FREE service where you can get practical hints and tips on how to deal with cravings and get access to patches, gum and other stop smoking medications.
There will be a friendly supportive advisor in your area and you are much more likely to succeed in quitting if you use this service.
If you would like to find out more, click here.