Sarah was first introduced to The Hamlet when her daughter Abi was born prematurely and spent a week on the neonatal intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital. She was referred to us through her outreach nurse who suggested they attend our nurture group. Abi started attending at just 5 weeks old!
The family went on to attend our Little Bees sessions and then preschool when Abi turned 2 years old. Sarah said, “We felt incredibly fortunate to get a place at The Hamlet preschool. You feel a lot of pressure as a first-time mother and I suffered from feelings of anxiety about whether I was being a good parent and giving the best support to Abi. They have always worked with me as a parent and listened to what I have said. I think I would have really struggled without all the support they have given.”
Sarah goes on to explain that lockdown was a “weird mix of feeling really low to super positive”.
“I had tough time with postnatal depression after having Abi and had to return to work when she was just 5 months old. I felt terribly guilty about this so it has been nice to have time at home with Abi just being together. However, it really played havoc with Abigail’s routine and we have experienced many sleepless nights with Abi waking at 1am in the morning. Being confined to the house for so long really tested me and I thought I might explode at times not being able to see and be around other people. The Hamlet were great though and have been like a true lifeline to me.”
“It was some of the little things they did that made such a huge difference. One day they arrived at the house with a little care package full of little fun gifts for Abi and tea and biscuits for me. Seeing a friendly face through the window truly gave me a lift and made me feel like I hadn’t been forgotten and was being thought about by someone.”
“They also loaned us toys from the nursery. I remember Abi taking her favourite dolly from The Hamlet for a walk around the park. It was so thoughtful that they actually brought us toys from the preschool that they knew Abi enjoyed playing with.”
“We got constant updates from Abi’s tapestry account and Hamlet website with activities and suggestions of things to do at home and even personalised emails from the staff checking in on us. I genuinely felt that they were missing us as much as we were missing them.”
“Later into lockdown they also did Zoom events. Abi loved the story time and music sessions that we attended together twice a week.”
“We couldn’t be more grateful to the Hamlet if we tried. Seeing the utterly amazing things that they do for our child is wonderful. The staff really care and love them. Thank you Hamlet for the wonderful things you do. We just couldn’t be without it.”
Thank you, Sarah, Abi and family, for sharing your story with us.