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Grandmas, Maternity leave, Prison, Forced marriage

Loneliness on maternity leave, Forced Marriage Unit, becoming a grandmother for the first time, and how a mother and daughter coped when separated due to a prison sentence.

Over a quarter of mums (27%) did not enjoy their maternity leave as much as they thought they would, according to a poll commissioned for The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live. ComRes questioned over 1,000 women who’d been on maternity leave in the past ten years, and found that nearly half (47%) felt lonely while on maternity leave. Nearly one in five mums (19%) wished they’d gone back to work earlier, and two in five (41%) missed being at work. Jenni spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live reporter Kathryn Stanczyszyn about the survey, and to mums Donna Davies and Claire Gooch about their experiences.

The final part of BBC2's 'Inside the Foreign Office' features Sophie Lott who works in the Forced Marriage Unit. The Unit was launched in its current form in 2005 and is the only government-run unit of its kind in the world. Each year staff assist up to 1,400 people at risk of being forced into marriage. Around 78% of the victims are female with many of them being under 18. Jenni talks to Sophie about assisting the thousands of British citizens who find themselves in this position.

At the end of the summer we asked anyone who was about to become a grandmother for the first time to get in touch and tell us what they were looking forward to and what they were worried about. Here are four of the women who responded talking to Caroline Donne who recently became a grandmother herself.

Mother and daughter Cheryl and Abigail Byron were separated for two years when Cheryl was served a prison sentence that neither of them were expecting. Don’t Forget the Birds is a new play in which they tell the story of how they coped without each other – and how much it took to rebuild their relationship after the prison gates were opened.

Presenter: Jenni Murray

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57 minutes

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Forced Marriage - Support and Advice

Forced Marriage Unit Helpline  0207 008 0151

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