Amelia playing with her two young children, Max, 4, and Katie, 3, with Red Cross volunteer Bob Ernst.
With your help, Red Cross is now giving young people like Amelia the support they need to become the best parents they can be.
Amelia* was just 16 when she fell pregnant with her first child.
"When I found out I was pregnant, I don't think that I really understood how much it was really going to entail," Amelia says. "But I was happy."
However, Amelia soon found herself struggling to cope when her son Max was born nine weeks premature, and spent the first seven weeks of his life in hospital.
"He was very, very delicate. And I suppose that was sort of where my happiness started to abate … when I started to realise the full responsibilities I had to take on," she says. Life became even more difficult when Amelia gave birth to her daughter, Katie, less than a year later.
That's why Amelia reached out to Red Cross for support. And thanks to you, we were able to help her in a number of ways.
Max was having some learning difficulties, so we arranged for an occupational therapist to work with him at one of our playgroups.
Thanks to this, Max - now four - is performing at the same level as other kids his age. "This has really benefitted him in preparing for school," Amelia says. "It's truly amazing to see the progress he's made."
Amelia began attending a range of support groups and parenting skills sessions. We also referred her to a psychologist to help her cope with her anxiety, as well as a domestic violence course to help her come to terms with the abuse she'd witnessed between her parents as a child.
Your regular gifts mean that Amelia has gone from being a young mother struggling to cope to a confident woman who's planning to study Law. And when we asked her what your support had meant to her and her family, she didn't hesitate.
"The things that I've learnt here have been imperative to raising my children," she says. "I can see the benefits all round. And I think it's a direct result of Red Cross that I have my children here today."
* Name has been changed to protect our client's privacy
Photo: Australian Red Cross/Louise M Cooper