When Melissa Redsell found out she was pregnant at the age of 16 she was told repeatedly that she wouldn’t amount to anything.
At her Grade 12 graduation she was seven months pregnant and determined to prove the naysayers wrong. Melissa refused to believe that her life was over, and made a promise to herself and her daughter that she would overcome the challenges of life as a teenage mum. After years of hard work and dedicated study Melissa started working as a registered nurse and went on to work as a midwife.
In 2015 Melissa founded A Brave Life, and started working to walk alongside young mums and empowering them for the future. The Brisbane based charity focuses on two areas – encouraging young mums to complete their education and pursue their dreams, and also providing essential baby items to young mothers through their Baby Bundle Program.
The reality for teenage mums is that social stigma is high, and without support they’re more likely to drop out of school and have low to no qualifications. There is a higher chance that they will be unemployed and on welfare, or if they are working it’s more likely to be in a low paid job.
Melissa told Sky News that the organisation is really about giving young mums the brightest future possible.
“We want to equip and empower teen mums to pursue their dreams and live life brave.”
Having been a teenage mother herself, Melissa is in a unique position to encourage others through her peer support and mentoring programs. A gift bag that she received after the birth of her daughter also planted the seed for what would become the Baby Bundle Program.
This March, 96five will be partnering with A Brave Life for their Baby Bundle Drive, giving you the chance to support young mums across our city.
Baby Bundles are designed for mums to arrive at the hospital with all the immediate essentials for her newborn. A Brave Life are seeking donations of the following items (new and in original packaging).
- Baby wash
- Cotton wraps
- Face washers
- Newborn nappies
- Newborn Singlets
- Newborn Socks
- Wondersuit/Onesie’s (Newborn size 0000)
Alternatively you can drop off items at the following Credit Union Australia branches until the end of March:
- CUA Brisbane City – 261 Queen Street, Brisbane
- CUA Brookside – Brookside Shopping Centre
- CUA Browns Plains – Grand Plaza Shopping Centre
- CUA Capalaba – Capalaba Central Shopping Centre
- CUA Carindale – Westfield Shopping Centre
- CUA Chermside – Westfield Shopping Centre
- CUA Loganholme – Hyperdome Shopping Centre
- CUA Maroochydore – 52 Baden Powell Street, Maroochydore
- CUA Morayfield – Morayfield Shopping Centre
- CUA Mt Gravatt – Westfield Shopping Centre
- CUA North Lakes – Westfield Shopping Centre
- CUA Robina – Robina Town Centre
- CUA Toowoomba – 470 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba