A CHARITY set up to support mothers with children in care in Winsford has welcomed a Coronation Street star as its new ambassador.

Sally Carman, who plays single mum Abi Franklin, was asked to represent Motherwell Cheshire Believe Project because of her role in the soap

The 39-year-old’s onscreen character struggles with drink and drugs and becomes involved with an abusive man who fathers her twins.

And Motherwell’s founder, Kate Blakemore, says she is delighted that Sally has agreed to represent her charity and is a perfect fit.

“We asked Sally because her character in Coronation Street very much reflects the situation of the women that we support,” she said.

“I set up Motherwell Cheshire five years ago after experiencing my own difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth and I recognised that many of the women we help come from a place of trauma.

“We work with them to help them grow in confidence and feel valued, more resilient and emotionally strong again.”

Sally Carman added: "I am proud to put my name to the Believe project as the support that they offer is so valuable.

“Playing the character of Abi in Coronation Street has highlighted to me how important it is that mums are supported practically and therapeutically at such a traumatic time in their lives."

Since its inception, the Motherwell Cheshire Believe project has supported 90 mothers in both Winsford and Crewe and is currently working with 25 mums who have had over 50 children removed from their care.

As well as providing support workers, Motherwell Cheshire offers a pioneering mentoring scheme which connects the mothers with older women who can help build their confidence and self-esteem.

“Many of the women we help do not have relationships with their own families and have no-one else to turn to for advice, so their mentor is there to give friendly guidance without judging,” said Kate.

“It is a real win-win because some of the older women are experiencing things like empty nest syndrome, so it helps them too.

“The mentoring is designed to be long term, so that trust is built up and a deep relationship forms. This can be life changing for both women."

Retired teacher and Motherwell Cheshire mentor Wendy McCandless, 56, decided to volunteer as a mentor because she had seen first-hand the lack of help for mothers of troubled pupils.

“The Local Authority’s goal is always to protect the child, but we believe it is vital to consider the mum’s needs and offer support to her too,” she says.

“We do this by signposting her to relevant agencies, helping her to navigate the complex procedures and paperwork and accompanying her to meetings.

“These mums are often vulnerable and traumatised, so they do not always cope well in these situations.

“They do not feel validated or listened to, so it really helps to have someone there to calm them if they get agitated and help remind them what they need to do.”

For full details of the Believe project visit believe-motherwell.co.uk.