It is 10 years since our Parent to Parent service was set up and there is lots to celebrate.
Our parent volunteers are trained to listen and provide emotional support to other parents and receive regular support and training in order to do this.
I think when your child is first diagnosed with this dreadful, debilitating, horrid disease, just to be able to talk to another mum or dad who's child also has it, is a wonderful way of just sharing your worries. It's the listening that I found most helpful. It's a very lonely time for the parent and child in those first 6 months!
The Service originally was for parents of children up to age 18 – this now includes parents of children up to age 25 due to demand from parents of children going through university and starting employment.
Parents talk of feeling isolated, although they may have family and friends to talk to. They feel the need to be strong for their child but feel very vulnerable themselves and need support in coming to terms with the diagnosis and nature of a long term condition.
I was listened to and empathised with. I felt like it was the first time I had been able to talk about my child without being judged and by someone who really understood. If it is at all possible to thank the volunteer, pass my thanks on to her, I would appreciate that.
Parents of a young person with Crohn's or Colitis may have feelings such as loss, anxiety, anger, disappointment, or guilt, and want to know if these feelings are normal and if they are ‘doing ok’.
Callers sometimes talk about worries for their child’s mental health, concerns about child’s future, education, schooling, how they will cope during teenage years, medication, or hospital treatment.
There were 46 appointments made last year – the most since the service was started. This is testament to the significance of this milestone, and we would like thank all of our amazing volunteers who make this possible.