A mother-of-twins has launched a global support group for mothers expecting or dealing with a special educational need or disability (SEND) diagnosis for their child.
Charlie Beswick believes that the group will help to plug the gap in provision for maternal mental wellbeing in this unique space – something that she has experienced first-hand.
Charlie, who has one son with complex additional needs, believes that more should be done to support mothers who receive a diagnosis for their child and how they can adapt to a life they may never have expected. She believes that the new ‘Gin & Cheese’ Facebook group is the perfect safe space for parents to go to communicate their experiences.
She passionately shared her raw insights into the isolation and challenges of dealing with the complexities of a child’s diagnosis, as well as the importance of being able to honestly talk about their struggles others who truly understand them, as well as celebrating their wins, big and small.
Charlie is calling not only on mothers to come together to support and empower each other but for Government, local authorities, education, and health care providers to offer more support and guidance for those who are feeling overwhelmed and alone.
Charlie said: “Whilst I have been navigating the world of SEND for 17 years, countless mothers that I have met simply don’t know where to start; feel lost, isolated and overwhelmed and are struggling with their own mental and physical health.
“I created SEND Gin & Cheese four weeks ago and already have nearly 600 members and we are growing each day. The comments of those in the group clearly show that while there are provisions for children, the provision for maternal mental health is sadly lacking and there is a real need for and value in this community.”
Tasha, a member of the community, said: “We’re at the beginning of our SEN diagnosis journey and I know we’re going to need people who really understand what we’re going through.
“It can be really lonely and isolating but this group is providing the safe space that we all need”.
Parents with children with SEND can join the new Facebook group, here.