New Online Exhibition

Posted on: 27th October 2022

Not just a Mum a new exhibition in Longsight Library, Manchester - Check out the virtual gallery!

Work created by Our Story Participant

Not Just a Mum – a digital gallery of creativity from Mum in Longsight, Manchester.

The gallery shares work from a physical exhibition held in Longsight library in October 2022.

Artworks and processes are celebrated from participants and professionals from Longsight Children’s Community and Save the Children Manchester as part of Our Story

The project shared challenges as parents that they face.

Throughout the project workshops, the group formed ideas, comments and questions about the issues in their lives, about raising a family and living in the Longsight Community.

This resulted in changes they would like to see happen and influence with decision makers which can be seen in the exhibition resource – call to action statements.

Call to Action

Parent Time

Being a parent, being a Mum takes bounds of time and energy, sometimes, mothers are doing this alone. It is vital that they are looked after too.

We found that having time for themselves and learning new skills was a key motivator for joining the group.

Mothers talked about lack of time to themselves, and few talked about hobbies or interests. Where do Mums find the time, energy, focus and permission to do something for themselves or self-care?

The group highlighted how important it is to look after the parent first. Journals reflect everyday caring but NOT the hobbies or things that parents find time to do for themselves.

Call for action – To support parents to have some time for themselves so that they can continue to care and give.

The importance of family

Family is…a sense of connection, support, guidance and love. For some, not all. Many of the mothers in the group are not near their wider family. They often need to go elsewhere, through community services to get support and advice. They felt this was not always available.

It is extremely difficult when families live far away.

Call for action – What else can be offered to fill some of these gaps in the typical family support system eg Friendship and peer groups.

Self-confidence/ self esteem

The group all came from different backgrounds. ‘We are all women and we all had caring responsibility.’’

It was recognised that not everyone realised how important the role of being a mother was.

Women in general are not being recognised for the work that they do and not everyone was confident to access services or go to new places

Call for action – everyone to understand and value the role of parents and nurture them.

Places to go and things to do

Often opportunities to go to places and do things or experience things in a local community have many multiple barriers to overcome that it can feel easier to not even try.

Mothers felt there were not a lot of options, locally, for families.

Parents were not able to talk about many places that they visited which highlighted concerns, are the opportunities there, are they visible, are they accessible, affordable and are they appropriate?

Parents did not tend to travel for family activities and there appeared to be less opportunities or groups meeting since Covid.

Basic needs are the family priorities, but so extra things like holidays are not available to families.

Call for action – places and things for families to do locally.