A charity set up 18 months ago to provide support to parents going through difficult times is going from ’strength to strength’.
Parent2Parent was set up by mums and provides support through its telephone line, email, Facebook and regular group meetings.
Their ultimate aim is to open an anxiety retreat centre to offer facilities and support to parents and teenagers dealing with anxiety related issues.
One of the charity’s founders, Lorna Fairclough, explained: ’Since setting up the charity 18 months ago we have gone from strength to strength and we are currently supporting a number of parents through some very difficult times.
’Early intervention is key with any illness, but all too often people with mental health related issues only receive treatment when they reach crisis.
’Watching your child/teenager suffer from any illness is unbearable for a parent but not being able to access early intervention treatment or support is extremely frustrating.’
The support group meets every other week in locations around the island in an attempt to give everyone an opportunity to attend.
Meetings run for about two hours and participants have a coffee and a chat.
Sometimes there is a guest speaker who has relevant experience and knowledge of working with teenagers.
Lorna explained that the anxiety retreat centre will offer a safe and welcoming place for parents and teenagers, where they will get the support they need.
’The centre will be run by experienced counsellors and parents who have experienced difficult times themselves and can empathise completely.
’We hope to offer courses for parents that will assist them in understanding what their teenagers are struggling with and a relaxed atmosphere where they feel they can discuss their worries and fears without judgement.
’All of this takes time and money to set up, so we are currently fundraising in an attempt to raise enough money to turn this idea into reality.’
The charity is almost half way to reaching its £20,000 fundraising target, which will cover the first year’s rent on a premises and outgoings.
They are looking for a premises in the outskirts of Douglas.
Their latest fundraiser was a cocktail party held at the Empress Hotel, in Douglas, and attended by 175 women.
Lorna said it had been such a success they have already booked the venue again for next year.
Sponsoring the event were Hartford Homes, Quinn Legal, Estera Trust, Property Wise and Lloyds Bank.
For more information visit the Parent2Parent Facebook page. The support line number is 240999.