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 as my parents live on Stamford Street but I had never been in – I didn’t know what it was! I had no idea it was aimed at the community, families and children. I spoke to one of the outreach staff at my doctor’s surgery and they encouraged me to come in. Now I am there all the time and have done lots of courses. I consider myself a champion and advocate of Coin Street, in fact any time I see someone with a push chair 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 continuted to attend to speak to other new parents – partly to chat, partly to encourage them to keep going with the breast feeding. I think it’s often more effective coming from a parent than a health professional. I have 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 do not hesitate to book onto a course because the centre offers crèche facilities for parents with children under 5 years old.
What has been your favourite session?
Cook and Eat; it was run by a nutrition expert from Southwark Council and held at Coin Street. 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 some of 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 and 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.