‘When I was 18, I had my whole life planned out. Then, after my A-Levels, I found out I was pregnant. In that moment I thought I’d ruined everything and my life was over. I couldn’t see that this baby was going to be a blessing in our lives.’
Rebecca Finlay in fact went on to complete a college course and enrol at university after the birth of her son.
Her story was broadcast on UTV Live on Sunday 14th February.
The 20-year-old from Belfast is now encouraging other young mums to not let go of their ambitions when they have a baby.
‘Reuben was about one and a half when I began my course,’ explains Rebecca.
‘I’m not sure whether I have always been strong willed, but the night I found out I was pregnant, I actually came home and started looking up university courses in Northern Ireland.
‘Everything is so much better when you’re with your children instead of sitting at home thinking your life’s over because you got pregnant at 18.
‘My Fixers project is to encourage young people to not let unexpected circumstances stop them from getting on with life and going after the things they want to do.’
Deirdre Webb, Coordinator at Family Nurse Partnership, features in the broadcast item in support of Rebecca’s campaign.
She says: ‘For young mums having babies in their teenage years, there are many social challenges because their friends are out enjoying themselves, but they have to plan for a young life.
‘They’re attending school or deciding what career to take forward and many of those challenges make huge demands on their time and them trying to make the best choice for themselves and their baby.’
Rebecca adds: ‘Anyone who is facing a circumstance that was unexpected and thinking that life is over and this is the end, I want to reassure them that it’s not. It’s not over, they can do it and it’s just the beginning.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.