Parents’ new support group

Angela Pass with son Joe.

Angela Pass with son Joe. - Credit: Archant

PARENTS of children with additional needs are being encouraged to join a new support group which has been created in Clevedon.

Funded by the town’s YMCA, it has been set up by two mums hoping to offer advice, guidance and a shoulder to cry on for any parent of a child with additional needs.

The group began meeting at the YMCA about eight weeks ago and has so far attracted a core of eight parents.

Organisers Angela Pass and Lorna Robinson, who is also a youth worker at the YMCA, are now hoping many more parents will begin attending the weekly evening sessions.

Angie, whose 10-year-old son Joe has autism, said: “I think there will be hundreds more parents out there in need of support.

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“The reason I started it was because I couldn’t get to the day groups which run in Weston and Portishead.

“Since we have started the evening one, a lot of people have asked for us to also run a day group so we will hold lunch clubs each month too.

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“When you get a diagnosis, or even when you are not sure what is wrong with your child, you feel very lonely and you don’t know where to turn or what to do.

“You feel like you are the only one in the world.

“The only support I found was online through forums. We thought this was something you really need to do face to face.”

Angie and Lorna set up the group to meet and support other parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders. However, they quickly discovered parents of children with many other needs were looking for similar support.

Angie, aged 38-year-old, of Stickland, added: “We want to make it for every parent with a child with additional needs or for anyone who has concerns but not a diagnosis.

“Even when the children have different disorders, a lot of issues tend to overlap.”

The evening support group meets every Tuesday at the YMCA in Marson Road from 7.30-9pm and the lunch club will meet once a month, the next gathering taking place at the YMCA on April 17 from noon to 2pm.

On May 7, a representative from Bristol-based organisation, Supportive Parents, will visit the group to talk about its work with families in the area.

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