Tracey Gilbert – Nursery Parent and Family Support Programmes Participant

‘Coin Street felt like a second home’

How did you first hear about Coin Street?

Growing up in Waterloo, I remember the Coin Street campaign. I used to play on the site that is now Bernie Spain Gardens when it was bombed-out ice cream factory – but don’t tell my mum!

I first heard about Coin Street’s family support sessions when I was having trouble feeding my baby. My health visitor suggested I attend Milk Spot. Then I got involved with the Stay ‘n’ Play sessions. When my first son was 13 months he started attending the Coin Street nursery. When my second son arrived, I started attending the drop-in baby session. These sessions were an integral part of my week and Coin Street felt like a second home.

How have you benefited from your involvement with Coin Street?

I was incredibly lucky to meet a bunch of women though my maternity leave who used Coin Street and the neighbourhood centre became a hub for us. Coin Street was also a big part of our support network. Not only did we rely on the staff to look after our children but because it was such a community resource, we helped each other out a lot. We would pick up each other’s kids if something came up.

Has your experience of Coin Street impacted your family or friends?

Coin Street becomes part of your family. It was very important to me as a single mum that both my mum and sister could be involved with my sons. Everyone at Coin Street made an effort to welcome my extended family and they in turn felt a special connection to the centre. I have recommended Coin Street to several friends whose children now attend the nursery.

If I had to sum up my feelings about Coin Street is three words, it would be friendly, inclusive, homely.

If you have a story you are happy to share about Coin Street please email Geena on g.patel@coinstreet.org