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"It was a very good environment, in particular for the time when having a baby as a single parent you were very much a second class citizen and looked down on."

"The Croft was like being a family without being family ... You are starting again. You are starting afresh and you could be who you wanted to be"

"Good memories, good memories, It was what I needed... I mean I dread to think what might have happened to me if there wasn't the The Croft at the time "

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Gina's Story

"I think I was terribly spoilt ... As one of only two daughters out of seven children I was spoilt. 

My sister had a much harder upbringing ... she had to look after me basically and my brother Robert while mother rested. 

Dad was very proud although he had a very poor background, you know, brought up in life. He just used to sell newspapers ... but he had two other jobs as well. He worked very, very hard. Very hard.

I was going to join the police force.  Everything was set in motion to join the police force. I’d left school but I knew I’d got to go to another college but then I got pregnant ... so ... dad was buying me a car ... I was supposed to be taking lessons, driving lessons, and it all just fell apart ..."

Moved to The Croft in 1973 

"I must have been seven months pregnant with the eldest child. I didn’t know I was pregnant. I didn’t know how it had got there. I didn’t know how it was going to come out.

So there was no sex education in schools?



No, none.

And who was the first person you told?

I didn’t. My sister suspected and went to see my parents ... and my mother said “You’re pregnant, aren’t you?” And I said, “I don’t know, what does that mean?” “You’re having a baby.” I said “Am I?” I didn’t know. I knew I was putting weight on, that’s all I knew. Because I was working all the time as a shop assistant and they said, “Why didn’t you say sooner, we could have got rid of it for you” and all that. So then mum says to me “You pack a suitcase because you’re going to live with your uncle Alan, err, your brother Alan” and ... so you can have the baby. I didn’t know which way the baby was going to come out. Do they cut you open? What?

Did you ask those questions at the time?

Mother was very, very … I don’t know, I don’t know how to put it, prude - prudish? She didn’t talk about them things.

That must have been very hard for you. What emotions were running through your mind at that time?

I don’t know. I was going to be separated but dad didn’t want nothing to do with me, he says, “You’re gone, and that’s it.” And mother stuck by him.