The importance of looking after yourself
Tuesday 19th May 2020
Our Wellbeing programme makes a real difference to families, helping to build resilience and coping strategies.
In the last financial year we ran three Wellbeing programmes for mums in the Cheshire West & Chester area, funded by the Westminster Foundation. And 13 programmes for mums, dads and siblings across Northern Ireland funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
88% of those who attended felt that the course helped them cope better with their caring role, and 96% said it improved their sense of belonging to their community.
"Hearing other people's stories made my life a bit easier."
Jessica, mum to two boys with additional needs, said: "I saw Contact's Wellbeing course advertised on our school facebook page. At the time I was always rushing around for the kids and looking for activities for the family. But this was just for me.
"I was a bit lost with who I was as a person, I was so tired, tired all the time and my health was not great. It was great to find out about services and activities locally, as we are new to the area and very importantly meet other Mums. Hearing other people's stories made my life a bit easier.
"We had a lot of fun, even though the topics of the sessions and discussions were serious. It's the best thing I've ever done and I've taken away a feeling of strength - I can do it! Since the course I've done training in mental health, play and Makaton. And I've started volunteering for a community group. My self-belief and confidence has gown. I'm like a different person to what I was."
Contact's Wellbeing programme also includes fun, recreational activities to encourage families to look after themselves and help them build connections with others. Families who attended the Wellbeing programme in the Chester West & Chester area have since kept up their friendships, sharing tips, positive thoughts and helping to keep each other's spirits up during the lockdown.
A lasting legacy
Since the sessions have ended, many of the groups of parents have kept in touch with each other via WhatsApp and Facebook. And over the last few challenging weeks, those groups have been a fantastic source of support.
Kate Wyke, Development Manager, said: "I have to say I've got to know these families very well while delivering our Wellbeing programme, and their support of each other and uplifting messages to one another over the last few weeks has given everyone a real boost in the current circumstances."
We hope to have our Wellbeing programme back up and running in the near future.