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Ann - Interview 44

Age at interview: 49
Brief Outline: Ann is the mother of Lisa, 14. Ann says that because of her height and size, Lisa looks much older than she is, so people expect her to act older and it also makes it difficult for her to fit in with girls her own age.
Background: Ann is a part-time admin assistant and a married mother of 2 children aged 14 and 16. Ethnic background: White British.

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Ann is the mother of Lisa, 14. Ann says Lisa started gaining weight when she was in Year 6 at school; she says Lisa started eating a lot, but she wasn’t worried because she was getting a lot of exercise and was tall and slim. But then when she stopped dancing and swimming, she started to gain weight and started wearing adult sized clothes, which made it difficult for her to find trendy clothes she liked and also to buy school uniform. Ann says she was always taller than the other girls in her school and then she was bigger compared to these girls who were “tiny” compared to her. Ann says that because Lisa looks much older than she is, people expect her to act older and it also makes it difficult for her to fit in with girls her own age.
 
Lisa was diagnosed with epilepsy aged 12. Ann says that they always weighed and measured Lisa at the hospital appointments and mentioned her weight, eventually recommending that Ann take her to a local weight management programme aimed at young people. Ann says her daughter didn’t mind being weighed and was quite interested in knowing whether she’d lost or gained weight. Lisa is currently attending the weight management programme and although Lisa lost a bit of weight initially, but she became upset when she put some weight back on over her summer holidays. Ann says she’s found the programme really useful.
 
Ann says she has to constantly watch what her daughter eats but she finds it difficult especially because she feels it’s difficult to fit everything in with looking after the children, running a business, and managing the home. Ann says that she thinks Lisa understands that she needs to do more exercise but wants Ann to do everything with her, which she doesn’t have time to do.
 
Ann describes Lisa as a bit of a loner, and says she rarely makes plans to meet up with friends. Ann compares herself with her daughter at that age and says she used to be out much more and would have to walk or catch a bus to get places, whereas she tends to drive Lisa about, partly because she worries about her safety, but also Lisa refuses to go out on her own.
 
Ann thinks it would be helpful if there was more going on near where they lived and if there was a website or newsletter with information for young people about what was going on.
 

Make sure young people know about local activities that might be helpful to them.

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I don’t think there’s enough, whatever activities, playgrounds, anything it all seems to be the other side of [the city]. There just doesn’t seem to be an awful lot going on round here, you know, for that age group. “You mentioned, oh where’s that?” “Oh it’s the other side of [the city]” or it’s [another city] or, you know, I don’t know [our city] seems to get missed out, or there’s not enough information maybe, maybe I just don’t know about all these places, there’s just not enough going on, like this dancing club shut down and so that’s it. You know, unless you travel miles or, you know, there’s just, there doesn’t seem to be enough. There is another one actually and I’ve tried to get her to go to that but she just won’t go because it’s not disco dancing which she loves doing. But I don’t think there’s enough information goes round somehow [informing] what goes on.
 
What would be the best way of getting that information out?
 
I don’t really know. I’m just thinking, maybe a newsletter to all 16-21 year olds or something or 14-21. Some kind of newsletter or once a month or every two months or something, you know, what’s on, what’s happening, where, activities.
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