Whilst most of us have found the past year difficult, for families facing additional challenges, the pandemic has made life almost unbearable.
Reuben’s Retreat is a home-from-home for families bereaved of a child and for children with life limiting or threatening conditions and their parents and siblings.
Cheshire Community Foundation funded ‘Coffee Connect’ a peer led support group for parents of children with complex/terminal illness who are self-isolating with additional care duties. A virtual forum, it offers a safe space for parents whose stress and anxiety is heightened due to the current crisis, aiming to reduce the risk of long term mental health issues such as PTSD and depression due to the length of time in isolation.
This testimony is from a single mum who has a life limited child and an able-bodied sibling and, understandably, she has been finding things particularly tough.
” Just wanted to say the most heartfelt thank you I could. My eyes are leaking writing this. Thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart. I really think I would be a complete mess and unable to look after the children without your constant support during this crazy situation. Knowing that you are always there and knowing that I have the weekly ‘Coffee Connect ’ check in is keeping me going. The weekly counselling sessions really did come at the right time too. My whole days are a rollercoaster of emotion – one minute I can be OK and the next I’m struggling. Please know that everything you are doing is helping so, so much at this time. I thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. Please, if there is anything I can ever do to give back, I always will and I’ll shout from the rooftops how amazing you all are. ”
As you can see, she has very much relied upon the support from Reuben’s Retreat and that of her peers to get her this far. She is still shielding but is doing so in a much better frame of mind.