Exclusive: “Lifeline” parenting centre to stay open after fundraiser hits target

A community-run hub for new parents has raised over £30,000 to fund their essential move to new premises – with their current home set to be demolished, EN4 News has learned.

The Pregnancy and Parents Centre (PPC) is primarily a self-funded, donation-run organisation that runs classes and workshops for recent mums and dads. Nobody is turned away if they are unable to pay or donate.

Francesca Dymond, a trustee of the centre, told EN4 News: “It would have been much more of a financial burden if we had to use the income we’ve generated to complete the work. It was essential that we raised that money.”

Their crowdfunding page raised £26,750 and the rest was through direct donations to the centre.

The Pregnancy and Parents Centre is hoping to complete the move to 188 Pleasance and be fully operational by the beginning of March.

“It’ll be spring-time when we get in, and renovation has already started, walls have come down, floors are going in, it’s exciting,” Francesca added.

Nadine Edwards created the group in her living room in 1985, and speaking exclusively to EN4 News, she said how important the centre is to the local community: “I feel very honoured to have been part of something so important in people’s lives. Parents have said it’s been a lifeline, that they couldn’t have managed without it.”

Concept art for the new Pregnancy and Parents Centre (Credit: Pregnancy and Parents)

Francesca first discovered the centre five years ago while pregnant with her first child, and she said, “In parenthood, there’s a lot [of] anxiety, guilt and shame, but you walk in here and you know you aren’t the only one feeling like that.

“The essence of the centre is that we have built this amazing community, through our shared experiences, knowledge and relaxation.”

She said that finding the new location took more than 18 months because they were looking for something special and fairly specific, as well as affordable: “We’re very lucky in that a member of our community who used to come to the centre is an architect; she’s been helping us project manage the designs of the new place.

“It is hard when you walk into somewhere semi-derelict to imagine it being warm and welcoming.”

When asked about the classes on offer, both trustees emphasised the importance of inclusivity at the centre.

“It’s a very multicultural community,” Dymond said, “There’s a course called new arrivals, for people who are new to the city or new to Scotland, it’s run by multilingual facilitators to bring people together.”

“It must be very difficult to arrive in a country where English isn’t your first language and you’re suddenly there with a new-born or a young child.”

Credit: Pregnancy and Parents

The centre is best known for its pregnancy yoga classes and welcomes roughly 450 parents every week. They also offer active-birth and dads-to-be workshops monthly, which are very popular.

“We don’t just support pregnant women. We support parents, dads, whoever, and parents after birth as well.”

She also voiced her fears about childbirth before finding the PCC: “I came here quite fearful about what labour would be like and how I would manage this enormous thing that was going to happen to my body.

“A lot of the narratives that women hear, even before they think about getting pregnant, is that labour is this intensively medicalised thing, I think the great thing about the PPC is, that it presents alternatives. I flipped from fearful to positive very quickly.”

Nadine expressed how the PCC has developed over the last few decades: “If I was suddenly not here tomorrow it would still carry on; for me, that’s the most important thing, that it’s developed its community, it’s on ethos. I like being part of that.

“There’s a lot of pressure to be positive and happy, here you can be who you are, we often specifically say, it’s fine to be a bit down this week or to be worried about something.”

If you are interested in their services or in donating, visit the Pregnancy and Parents Centre website.

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