We are privileged to have two successful parent support groups at The Door, Family Support Team Leader Shona tells us more:
On the 4th Wednesday of each month, Parent Connections meets at The Door between 7pm and 9pm where a safe space is offered to meet without judgement. In a world where we often walk away from an exchange feeling as though we haven’t been able to be our true self, that doesn’t happen here. There is a strength in the histories and experiences that each person brings that is selflessly shared, both empowering and inspiring for the group as a whole.
‘The people in the group are courageous, sharing their stories in a safe environment.’
‘The others understand’
‘We can talk knowing that we won’t be judged just supported.’
‘I feel that in life I am making myself invisible but when I come to the group I go for myself.’
‘It feels like a safe place to belong and you don’t always feel that in life, it’s a place of acceptance.’
We also host The Beyond Fear Foundation Parent Support Group for parents of young people who are living through eating disorders, debilitating anxiety or depression for example, they come together on the 3rd Wednesday of each month to talk, breathe, relax or just listen and with an active WhatsApp group, that ongoing strength and support is shared in crisis between meetings. Shared experiences and challenges tackled are made that little bit easier when you feel less alone.
For both groups, parents are welcome to make contact before or simply drop in, with ‘welcome’ being the key and ‘kindness’ being a given.
And so to the future, whilst there is the opportunity for Dads to attend both groups, historically, they don’t – so enter ‘Dads @ The Door’, which is set to begin on the 4th Thursday in October. Spread the word Dads’ – you are important too! Self- care through a crisis is not the sole right of your partner (and they’ve probably been telling you that). Other Dads are battling with how to cope, how to know where to turn, how to provide that balance of safe challenge and support. Is it that stereotypical, British, stiff upper lip that stops us from reaching out or the fear that we will be seen as something less than we are if we ask for help? Whatever it is, there is a welcome at The Door for you, a safe space to bring yourself and talk if you need to, or just breathe if you don’t.
…the power of a group.