Story of the CroftStory of the Croft - Return HomeStory of the Croft -  About the ProjectStory of the Croft - Contact us

"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 "

"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."

Return HomeAbout The ProjectMothers' Stories From the CroftSocial HistoryNottingham Croft GalleryYour Comments

More Stories from the Croft
Maria Dabrowska's Story

I was doing the final part of my Diploma in Social Studies in London and Iwanted to do the final placement in Nottingham because of family reasons, because my father died and I asked for a different kind of project. I didn’t want to work in Social Services. My tutor knew that I was a little bit different in that I really wasn’t into authority and things like that of people being told what to do and being labelled. And so I was very much already thinking along the lines of somewhere like Family First but I didn’t know it existed.  And it just happened to exist in Nottingham where my family were. So I moved from London to Nottingham and I did my month’s final placement in The Croft, at Family First.  And I just did ... I don't even remember what I did. I think I just helped out. I worked in the office or something like that. I don't really know. I was May 1975, I remember ... I was 24 years old. I wasn't a lot older than those mums at The Croft really when I think about it.

Maria was a Family First Community Worker based at The Croft during the mid to late 1970s.

"It was a lovely place to work it was a beautiful environment and a great philosophy. And I think when I was doing my placement there I read up about how it had been established and the philosophy of self help of Ruth Johns and that. She actually lived in The Croft and what I liked was that the mums came when they were pregnant and they just rang a bell if they got ... (laughs) started labour and they got taken to hospital. They came back with their babies, you know, and ... it was just normal. It was like a big family really. And it was right it was called Family First Trust because it was like a big family and nobody was treated any differently you know, just because they were in different ... difficult circumstances so I loved that. I loved the philosophy of self help and I believed in it totally from day one. I was very comfortable with it. "