North Staffordshire Parent Support Group is celebrating after being awarded £40,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work to help local families and their children who are born prematurely and those born with disabilities.
The group deliver sessions in Biddulph and Newcastle-under-Lyme and soon to be in Hanley. The funding will mean the group will be able to run more activities for local families and to provide further support sessions for their parents.
North Staffordshire Parent Support Group was founded by Kerri Marsh and has been running since 2017. Kerri Marsh started the group as she felt there was a lack of support in the community following leaving the neonatal hospital.
Kerri marsh, founder of North Staffordshire Parent Support Group, says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to press on with our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to help local families and their children who are born prematurely and those born with disabilities and their parents. This is important because it helps both the children and the parents to build relationships with others facing similar challenges and to create their own supportive circles of friends and peers.”
The group runs two sessions a month, attended by 8 regular families who join in with activities such as craft, discussion, chat, sensory play, guest speakers, relaxation, refreshments and advice is also offered. The sessions help to reduce isolation, anxiety and postnatal depression and share experiences and discuss and deal with emotions and memories experienced in a friendly informal environment.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund – which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK – will see these sessions expanded to three monthly and extended links and work with the local neonatal unit.
At the same time, the group will be able to expand the range of activities and venues and increase amount of sessions as well as providing more support sessions for the children’s parents.