Our core parent support groups
Just Between Us
For parents who want to share experiences and talk about issues in a safe environment, with people they can trust who will support them.
Take A Break, Share The Load
For parents who want to enjoy some relaxed activities and conversations, get to know one another and have some time for themselves.
What makes our parent support groups different?
They are not drop-ins
Parents contact us about coming to the group or we invite them along. After they've tried it, if they want to come regularly they become members of the group.
They are not friendship groups, but...
Parents who go to our groups do find new friends. If a parent comes with a friend they don't just talk to one another, they mingle with everyone in the group.
We keep them small
Our groups never have more than 12 members at a time and most of them have between 8 and 10 parents who attend regularly.
Each group has a team of volunteers leading it
The volunteers plan different activities for each group session that help everyone to take part and feel comfortable joining in.
The group members support one another
Each group has its own guidelines about how members are expected to work together and make each person feel valued. The volunteers pass some of the peer support skills they have learned on to group members.
Developing new parent support groups
We will set up new support groups that focus on particular experiences and issues that parents tell us they want to share with each other. It takes a while to get a new support group off the ground, because it needs a lot of careful planning and preparation. We involve the parents who ask us to start the new group in that work. Once a new group is set up we will keep it going for as long as it is needed.
Occasional sessions for parents who want to focus on particular issues
We hold activities, special events, short courses and workshops for parents who have faced or are facing particular issues that are troubling them or that they want to speak out about. We work with partner agencies who specialise in the particular issues to provide these sessions. Here are some examples.
All Different, All Equal
For parents who have children with additional needs, to have some time to themselves when they can share their feelings and experiences, enjoy some relaxing activities and laughter.
All Our Bright Stars
For parents who have been affected by bereavement through pregnancy, neonatal or infant child loss.
Are They Listening? events
For young parents who want to speak out about what it is like for them and how they want things to change.
Be Who You Want To Be
For parents whose lives are or have been affected by mental health issues.
For parents who are coping with difficult personal relationships or supporting another person who is doing that.