Elizabeth Frimpong-Aboagye – Coin Street neighbhourhood centre user

‘Coin Street is a great way for parents from different backgrounds to socialise or just hang out and chat’

What brought you to the neighbourhood centre initially?

I had walked past the neighbourhood centre lots of times but I had never been in. I had no idea it was aimed at the community, families and children! When I spoke to one of the outreach staff at my doctor’s surgery they encouraged me to come in. Now I am there all the time and have done lots of courses. I consider myself an advocate of Coin Street. Any time I see someone with a pushchair and small children around the area, I ask them if they have heard of Coin Street and give them the brochure!

What sessions do you attend?

I started coming to Milk Spot (breastfeeding support group) and even when I realised I didn’t really need any support myself, I continued to attend to speak to new parents – partly to chat, partly to encourage them to keep going with the breastfeeding. I think it’s often more effective coming from a parent than a health professional. I’ve been to lots of sessions here since; Play Patterns; Best Start for Toddlers, Strengthening Family Strengthening Communities and Cook and Eat. The courses are great and I don’t hesitate to book onto a course because the centre offers creche facilities for children under 5 years old.

What has been your favourite session?

Cook and Eat; it was run by a nutrition expert from Southwark Council. It was 2 hours a week for 6 weeks. The first hour was theory and learning about food groups and the second hour was cooking – things like healthy muffins, omelettes, fishcakes and fruit salad. I still cook these recipes at home and use the theory I learned to make other healthy meals to suit my family.

How do you think Coin Street impacts the community?

I think they have a huge impact on parents as they provide support and guidance for. Plus, they expose children to lots of different things, giving them confidence. Coin Street is a great way for parents of different backgrounds to socialise or just hang out and chat.