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Reaching out amongst the fog: Perinatal mental illness and moments when you ‘connect’ with others


Have you ever felt that ‘eureka’ moment of connection with someone who describes exactly a feeling/situation you have experienced, but which you always assumed was so weird, you were the only one? 

I remember getting it during one of my early days of volunteering with Juno. We were discussing the isolation of early motherhood: how it is so easy to be lonely when all you have for company is an infant who possibly can’t yet even smile or crawl, never mind have a decent conversation. Many mums find this a relaxing and special time; and yet for others it is a soul-sapping drudge of a period. Another volunteer mentioned how hopeful they would get when Pointless came on the TV every weekday at 5pm, and what a daily milestone this became; because Pointless on TV meant Daddy was leaving work, and by the time it finished, he might well be home. The luxury of adult conversation and a fellow human being to temporarily dump the baby on beckoned! Entire days could pass almost entirely based on a mantra of “if I can make it through until Pointless in x hours/minutes, I’ll be OK”. And they did. And they survived.

Other mums in the room nodded and smiled at this, some in recognition. I just about leapt off my chair with excitement.  To hear someone articulate the same weird, somewhat socially unacceptable, feelings about a daytime TV programme that I’d had during my foggy days of postnatal depression was bloody wonderful! And this was several years after my recovery. To have had such a conversation right back in the midst of illness would have been even more impactful I’m sure.

Because postnatal depression, like any other form of perinatal mental illness, has a tendency to eat you alive. It painfully gnaws at your insecurities, and bites off your self-confidence in one big gulp. At a time when new mums (or mums to be) are likely to be exhausted, filled to bursting with hormones, and navigating one of the biggest change processes in their whole lives; perinatal mental illness can shatter our sense of self and leave us emotionally at our weakest. It is usually a hugely isolating experience. Good support networks and opportunities for reassurance are vital for recovery.

Every woman’s story is very different. But take me for example. I’d sailed through pregnancy on a cloud of existing social relationships and diligently-researched plans for parenthood. The reality hit me like a brick afterwards. For whatever reason, I was severely affected by postnatal depression within days following the birth. Crying became as normal as eating, and I found myself incapable of making the simplest decisions about caring for my son without consulting a midwife, health visitor, or Google. The loving bond between us that I’d always assumed would appear proved to be exceptionally late in its arrival and I spent weeks/months looking after a child who was emotionally a total stranger to me. 

Feeding was a struggle, as was getting him to sleep (or stay asleep!) and somehow or other I convinced myself I’d given birth to the most difficult baby on the planet. I had no supportive circle of mums around to admit this to, or to reassure me that he was not. Postnatal depression seemed to make me incapable of managing normal polite chitchat with other mums, and I found myself regularly explaining to people “I don’t normally act this odd, but I have PND right now.” I secretly longed to hear a reply such as “Oh me too – isn’t it sh*t?” But that rarely happened. 

Thankfully I was lucky to have good support through other channels (including the love and patience of my husband, and the kind-hearted camaraderie of some online parenting networks), meaning that after six months or so I pronounced myself cured from depression. I had a reasonably close relationship with my son, some level of confidence in how to look after him, cried a lot less, and the wide-eyed jittery look on my face at baby groups had reduced somewhat. So what if I couldn’t remember the last time I’d properly laughed or felt delighted by anything??? I had few others’ experience to lean on. I assumed that following mental illness, everyone felt ‘meh’ on a permanent basis afterwards. It took a good while to realise differently. But it would have been so helpful to talk about it openly with someone who’d been there too!

These days I know I *am*truly recovered and I experience both the wonderful and exasperating aspects of motherhood with an overall sense of internal balance and happiness. But I feel strongly that perinatal mental illness is something we should acknowledge and share amongst ourselves as mothers. To have a ‘eureka’ moment of connection – however small or fleeting – with another mum when feeling low can be so very powerful in re-building individual self-worth. That’s why I volunteer with Juno. I’m not a counsellor, and I (unfortunately) don’t promise to cure anyone, but I am a peer supporter who works with other volunteers to create safe spaces for mums experiencing perinatal mental health problems to open up, listen, and connect. If you are in the Edinburgh or Midlothian area and this article speaks to you, then do please consider getting in touch with us here at Juno.

Susi O’Brien, Juno Volunteer

Hurty Heart

As the end of term has approached I’ve been trying to think about why I always feel so emotional about it. Especially with Matthew finishing Nursery and getting ready to start Primary 1 

I once read an article which said that parenting was just a constant series of letting things go. Very true. I also read a quote recently that said “To raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you means you have done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own”. Also very true. But for me even though I know these things are true, it doesn’t stop me from having the ‘Hurty Heart’ as I like to describe it. 

When I was at my very worst with post natal depression, I couldn’t see past the grey fog to get to the end of the day. So to picture myself in 5 years time with a boy about to start school and another going into primary 3 seemed impossible. In those days when I felt exhausted to my very bones, I couldn’t wait until the days passed and I could crawl back into bed. ‘Make the most of every moment, they’re not babies long’ was a phrase I used to hear all of the time. I used to think ‘I really am trying my very best to’ but when your biggest wish is just to go to the toilet without having someone follow you it’s hard to ‘treasure every moment’. 

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved my boys being babies and I have photos documenting every part of their lives (just ask any of my friends and family who will tell you I am forever taking photos!) but I always maintain you never know the value of photographs until they are all you have left. And now for those precious pre school years that is all I have left. 

I recently spent time printing off photos to make albums from 2012 to the present day. As nothing beats physically looking at photographs. The boys love it. what struck me whilst doing this task was how much the daily things which seem so monotonous at the time grow to be the things you look back and your heart longs for. I looked back through the albums to see the boys playing with toys, wearing clothes that I had almost forgotten about. 

When they were 2 and 4, every night when they came out of the bath the boys would take their towels off and run around naked for us to catch them. It was one of their favourite games and me and my husband every night pretended to be horrified only for them to giggle more. I found a picture of this, and realised I had almost forgotten about it. This was only 3 years ago and it happened every night, yet some how I wasn’t reminded until I saw the picture. When I looked at picture I could hear them giggling and longed to jump through and squidge those babies one last time. 

I recently put on a jacket that I hadn’t worn in a while and found a dummy in a pocket. I showed it to Matthew and he took it in his hands and stared at it like he remembered it vaguely from some sort of distant memory. I said ‘that was yours when you were a baby’ and he asked me ‘what do you do with it?’ I remember just after he turned 2 tying myself in knots about getting the dummy off him as he was getting too big for it. It was such a huge issue. And here we were 3 years later and him not even remembering what it was. 

Those pre school years are so precious, when you are no doubt the most important person in your child’s life. Then as they start school they begin to have other outside influences and you find that you have no control over. Seeing your child become their own person is such a fantastic feeling and I count my blessings every day that I get to see my children learn and grow in this way. But as they grow I realise they need me just a little bit less. 

Isn’t parenting such a funny thing? Of course we want to treasure every moment and know that one day you will blink and your baby will be starting school. But on the flip side we feel guilty for wanting just five minutes peace. You find yourself all consumed trying to work out how you can juggle everything, then the next minute both children have a party at the same time on a Saturday afternoon and you find yourself alone for 2 hours having no idea what to do with yourself. But 3 years earlier what you would have done for those 2 hours. So to you mamma, who is reading this now maybe with a baby and a toddler or 2 pre schoolers, know that those hard, hard days won’t last forever. And the fact that you are worrying about doing a good job probably means that you absolutely are. 

So here I am officially saying farewell to the pre school years. I know I can put my hand on my heart and gave it my best shot. I know that I must continue doing the best for my boys for their next chapter and not spend too long looking back and longing for what used to be. But for now I have a summer to look forward to and hope I can fill more albums with photos of amazing memories. And if my boys happen to read this when they are older they will know that their Mamma gave it her all and would do it all again, good and bad, in a heartbeat.

With love, Lauren

 

We made it!

Five feels like a bit of a milestone for a first time mum like me. Mainly because it’s the age schooling starts in Scotland. Ethan turns five this week, which means he starts primary school this August. It may sound dramatic to say that I felt like I would never make it to this point, but when I was in the full grip of post-natal anxiety/depression and PTSD, the road ahead was filled wirh darkness. In fact, it often seemed like there was no road ahead at all.

 

I’m writing this today because I want anyone reading this who is feeling what I’ve just described to know that there is a road ahead. There is hope, there is recovery, there is learning to live and love again, finding reason to fight. Please believe me, I have been there in the darkest of places and I am now here in the world of recovery.

 

In my own experience, the feeling of hopelessness is one of the hardest parts of perinatal mental illness. As if experiencing the symptoms of this cruel illness is not bad enough, you are met with this crippling feeling of how bad a mum you are. I spent so much energy worrying about the affect it would have on my son. In some ways I didn’t care about the impact on myself – “take what you want from me, I give up” – if you will. The fight I felt came from a place deep within, a place that forced me to believe I somehow had to get better for my son. For his health, his future and his happiness.

 

…and I did it. I recovered. For him, for my partner Chris and my father who both never gave up on me when I had more than given up on myself. For my mother who had lost her own health battle and was no longer alive. For the friends and family who didnt shy away from me when I wasn’t myself anymore… for myself. A strong support network alongside a number of services who offered what I needed to recover.

 

So let me say this; I know what it feels like when you can’t bear to invisage a future. I know what it feels like to think you are damaging your child emotionally when you are experiencing the darkest of days. But you aren’t. I can say this as I now sit here looking in amazement at my little boy who will be five. He was around when I was the most unwell I have been in my life and he is here next to me today. He is bright, happy and full of life – unaffected by the darkness I experienced when he was a little boy and I was trying my hardest to be a mother despite being pulled in to the darkness by this cruel illness. I feel so thankful to sit here and be able to say that.

 

Please seek the support you need. If not for yourself, then for your little one.

 

We made it, baby boy! Thanks for being the reason I needed to find the fight and strength to save myself x

Juno perinatal mental health support Edinburgh

Parenting through a perinatal mental illness

Juno perinatal mental health support EdinburghI’m sure if you had checked my Google history when I was unwell after having my third baby ‘parenting with depression’ and similar searches would have featured heavily.

 

I was desperate to know how others mums were managing to do it. But I could find very little written about the subject that was of any real help to me. Nothing really seemed to capture the reality of what I was experiencing. The advice wasn’t achievable.

 

There was often an unhelpful focus on the impact maternal depression can have on children. I already knew that. I was carrying enough guilt. And some comments left on articles were so full of judgement.

 

I hope this blog might in some way help other women searching for answers to the same question –

 

‘How do you parent young children whilst experiencing a mental illness?’

 

Being a mum to young children even when you are well and fully functioning is a really hard job. But throw in depression. It is a horrible illness. It is debilitating and devastating. I can honestly say that looking after young children whilst experiencing severe depression is hands down the most difficult thing I have ever attempted to do. In fact – I came to realise and accept that without practical help it was impossible.

 

I wouldn’t be in the place I am now without the medical help and treatment I got from wonderful mental health professionals. But outside of appointments and behind closed doors I still had three children to care for. And I couldn’t find anything that talked honestly and realistically about how women actually cope with the practicalities of caring for children whilst they are mentally unwell.

 

School runs, activities, cooking, mealtimes, laundry, play parks, shopping, parties, bathing, homework, housework, bike rides, bedtimes. All part and parcel of family life. This is what we do as parents. But in the depths of depression I couldn’t actually get out of bed. I couldn’t get myself showered or dressed. I couldn’t figure out how to make a cup of tea. Day to day life was terrifying and overwhelming.

 

And for a long time I was frightened to tell anyone. To be brutally honest about just how incapacitated I was. To admit I couldn’t do it. Behind closed doors my husband took on being both mum and dad, looking after me and trying to hold down a full time job. It wasn’t sustainable. Post-natal mental illness not only affects women, it affects whole families. And ours was imploding.

 

I was afraid to admit how much I was struggling because of fear about what people would think if I was honest. I mean what sort of mother can’t get up in the morning, feed her kids breakfast and take them to school? Maybe there was nothing wrong with me and I was just a lazy, terrible person who didn’t deserve to have three precious children. I was too ashamed. I had been an independent, capable, responsible person. I was used to doing well at things. I was a Social Worker by profession. And here I was failing miserably at being a mum. I was afraid of being totally honest with professionals for fear of having my children taken from me. Depression lies and distorts.

 

It is from a place of being well that I can now reflect back on that time. I hope some of these reflections will help other women ask for and get the PRACTICAL help they need alongside medical treatment.

 

It is so clear to me now that I wasn’t a lazy, useless mother. I was a mum who loved her kids very much and was trying her best but was very sick. If you are suffering you need to know that depression is REAL and it is SERIOUS. You haven’t imagined it and it is NOT laziness. It is OK to say you are struggling and to ask for practical help.

 

When I was finally HONEST with professionals about just how much I was struggling with the practicalities of day to day life they were AMAZING. I was completely open with my health visitor and didn’t make anything look better than it was when she visited. Not once was there any concern raised about how my children were being cared for. You need to hear that if this is the worry which is stopping you from asking for help. They could see that I was a GOOD AND LOVING MUM who was UNWELL. All their energies went into helping me get better. An amazing member of the health visiting team visited me every week and helped me to put practical support in place whilst I recovered. I’ll say it again – it is absolutely OK to ASK for HELP. I wish I had asked for practical help much SOONER.

 

My health visitor got me a nursery placement for my little boy at Midlothian Sure Start. It was an amazing place and played a huge part in my recovery. I feel so grateful to them. On really bad days they came to my home, helped me dress and feed my children and came with me to the school. All with NO JUDGEMENT – just kindness.

 

My sister set up a volunteer from Safe Families for Children for me. A wonderful woman Isobel came and helped me twice a week at home for six months. Homelink Family Support is another organisation which provides family volunteers in Edinburgh.

 

We were also fortunate that my husband’s employer was very understanding of mental illness and the effect it has on the whole family. When he was OPEN with them they were incredibly flexible with time off to help me.

 

I was also eventually OPEN with my FAMILY and some close FRIENDS. And they were incredible. My parents came to stay for extended periods of time to help me. Friends also helped me out in really practical ways. One dear friend, who was in a position to, spent every Wednesday with me just helping. Don’t be afraid to TELL people close to you.

 

And LET people help you. I also had to lower my expectation of myself as a mum and made our lives very SIMPLE. My kids didn’t do any extra activities for a long time. And they are NO worse off for it.

 

I also received a lot of advice to ‘take one day at a time’. But a day is a very long, overwhelming period of time when you are depressed. What did really help me however was to think about the day ‘one small task at a time’.

 

I NEVER EVER thought in a million years I would need to use any of these services or ask for this type of practical help. It took a lot of pride swallowing. But I was unwell. It could happen to anyone. It wasn’t my fault. There is no shame in it. And getting practical help alongside treatment played a huge part in my recovery and gave me the space I needed to get better. And I did get better. And I can now once again do all those things that mums just do.

 

If you are struggling with the practicalities of being a mum in the midst of a perinatal mental illness please reach out, ask for practical help and let people help you.

 

Please do comment if you have any other tips that may help other struggling mums.

 

And please get in touch with us here at Juno if you would like further signposting to organisations that can help you in practical ways.

 

–Written by Claire Marsland

The motherless mother

“I might not have learned the practicalities of motherhood from Wendy but there is something of her in me; I feel it, behind my ribs. I like to think of it as all the love she never got to give to me. A vacuum should be weightless but I stagger under the burden of it, and I won’t feel complete until I pass it on.”
Erin Kelly, ‘He said/she said

I read this paragraph in a book recently that really resonated with me. Becoming a mother when your own mother isn’t around is heartbreaking, it feels so wrong and so against the laws or nature. I’ve done a lot of things in my life without my mother – all credit to my wonderful father, I never felt like I was missing out on any love or support in any way – but becoming a mother without her there was tough.

Becoming a parent is undoubtedly a life changing experience, most of the factors of your life change and some are never the same again – in both good and bad ways! It makes you consider deeper where you came from and in turn the heritage of your child(ren).

There is the deep longing that they could and should have been here to see your proudest moment – becoming a parent to the most wonderful child. The continuation of you and them. And the thought that they never will is really too much to bare. I would personally say this can be a contributing factor to suffering pre or postnatal illness. It feels totally unnatural for you to out live your parent and for them to be missing for such a big life event.

So while it’s so very hard to become a parent yourself without one or both of your own parents around, I really love this notion of healing through becoming a parent. This “vacuum” of emptiness is something that will never really go away – deep, profound and devastating.

In complete contrast, becoming a mother has been a very healing experience. I too didn’t learn the practicalities of motherhood from my own mother, but I know some of her is in me, being passed down to Ethan. Finding the true me; completed by becoming his mother. I gave birth, fell completely apart, put myself back together again and came out the other side better than before with more empathy, understanding and love.

Mum, My Sarah, this one is for you….

Love Tess x

My Juno Anniversary

My first born Ethan – the boy who came along and healed many things in my life, stole my heart and made myself and Chris a family with so much to love for – was born in 2013. He turns 4 soon and this means that I have been accessing and then facilitating peer support for 3 years. My Juno anniversary if you will!

 

My labour and Ethan’s birth were what I would consider traumatic and the start of family life didn’t go too smoothly either. We slowly began adjusting to the magical, bewildering, terrifying, life-affirming job of being parents and becoming a family of three. The first weeks are a blur, marred by a painful c-section scar and bouts of sickness on my part. On top of all of this I found being a new mother perplexing, questioning every decision we made regarding our son. Looking back he was a perfect, happy boy but anxiety ruled me.

 

When our wee boy was only 5 weeks old I was taken to hospital in an ambulance. As previously mentioned, I had some ill physical health postpartum but was told and believed it was my body processing and adjusting to a traumatic labour and emergency c-section. After a blurry few days of tests, pain and medication in HDU I was eventually diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis, which had been the source of my discomfort throughout pregnancy and in the 5 weeks postpartum.

 

Gallstone pancreatitis and associated illnesses consumed my whole life for a while and I was in hospital away from my beautiful newborn son, my partner and our home for the best part of 4 months. This experience was the single worst thing I have ever had to go through in my life and I feel so sad and robbed of the time I missed when we should have been bonding as a family. I try very hard to have a positive view and know how lucky I am to be in the position I am in now – in a family full of love where we have our health and much else in our life.

 

It took me some time to readjust to life outside of hospital and also to find my identity as a mother, all the while still battling with ill health. In April 2014 – on the week of my sons first birthday – I eventually decided to tackle my mental health face on after ignoring it for a number of months.

 

We luckily had a supportive Health Visitor who referred me to a fantastic GP who offered me so much more than just medication. The day I was diagnosed with postnatal depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress I was handed a leaflet of a peer support group. I was in a really awful place but felt determined that I would not become a victim of both the illnesses that had haunted my early experiences of motherhood and attended the group the following week. Those days passed in a sort of blur – I started medication and was on a waiting list for counselling. Peer support became an integral part of my recovery. I think that this may sound dramatic but I actually find it hard to explain how much of a positive impact peer support had on me – in a number of ways – and also don’t know what position my family and myself would be in by now had I not found the help I did to help me recover.

 

After some time when I felt the capacity to support others I became involved in volunteering. In 2015, with the other members of the committee, I was involved in the ‘birth’ of Juno. I believe so passionately in my heart in what we do because I am proof of just how much of an amazing impact peer support can have as part of recovery from perinatal mental illness. I now co-facilitate the Sighthill Juno group on a Tuesday at Gate 55. It’s so important to me to give something back given how positive my experience of peer support has been. Supporting our mums is a rewarding, emotional and cathartic experience that I love.

Tess Askew, Juno Co-Founder

Juno Edinburgh Post

Dear Matthew

Dear Matthew, 

 

I know all parents say this but I cannot believe that you are turning 4. When you were first born it was hard to imagine that you would  ever do anything other than feed, sleep, poo, repeat… Yet in the blink of an eye those sleep deprived early days are gone and I am here wondering how on Earth my baby has turned into a full of life 4 year old. 

 

I always feel very reflective when you and your brother’s birthday come around. A time to look back and look at those early days probably through rose tinted glasses. Days powered by cold cups of tea and dry shampoo. Days of toddler groups, tea and cake and you lying on my chest for sleepy cuddles wishing that you didn’t have to get bigger. 

 

But it certainly wasn’t all sleepy cuddles and feeling deliriously happy. At 4 Matthew I’m sure you don’t remember a time when Mummy was sad all the time, but for a while after you were born Mummy was very poorly. I hope that when you are bigger I can explain exactly what happened and what it felt like but for now I can say Mummy had something called Post Natal Depression. 

 

During that time Mummy wasn’t herself at all. Mummy felt very sad, all of the time, not for any reason at all. I suddenly lost interest in things that I had loved before, like a light had gone out and my whole world was grey and dark. I would lie awake all night listening for you, feed you, go back to bed but never be able to sleep. As a result of this I was tired all day and very irritable and I’m ashamed to say sometimes used to take this out on your older brother who was only a baby himself at the time. I would Lose my temper over silly things like him spilling a drink, i can only hope, like you, that he won’t remember much about this. I went from being a confident, organised person to not even being able to decide what we needed at the supermarket. The very worst thing of all was the horrible guilt that I used to carry around with me. I loved you so much that it hurt, I felt like my heart world explode with the love I felt for you but yet I could not find any joy in my life. What kind of Mummy was I? How could I have a beautiful, happy baby like you and not be jumping for joy every day? There were times (and these were the very worst) when I wished that I wasn’t here anymore, because at least if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t have to feel they way I did. 

 

The answer I found when I eventually spoke up and got help was that it wasn’t just me, that I was suffering from an illness. The good news was that it was actually very common and there a treatment for this illness. With some medicine from the Doctor and also some counselling (a space for mummy to talk every week) I gradually began to get better. 

 

I can’t remember exactly when but the light started to come back on in my life. Slowly but surely the days with you and your brother were not just monotonous ‘one foot in front of the other’ to make it through. They became fun, I was able to laugh and I was able to enjoy my time with you instead of dreading how I would get through another day. 

 

Now 4 years on those dark grey days feel almost like bad dream. When I was in the middle of them it felt like the fog would never lift and that I would feel that way forever. All I wanted was another Mummy to say ‘I went through this and got better, so can you’. Some people want to forget bad times and pretend that they didn’t happen. But I’m so proud to say that out of those darkest days something good came- Juno. Juno does exactly what I wanted when I was at my most poorly and I couldn’t be prouder. You could say, matthew that if it was not for you there would be no Juno and I hope when you are older you understand just how important that is. 

 

But back to my sentiments from the start, I cannot believe that you are turning 4. You will of course always be my baby boy (even though you tell me regularly that you are not a baby, but a big boy) but for now I will look forward to your paw patrol party with the big cake you have requested and watching you open (even more!) trains. I will always remember that the beginning of our journey was not the easiest, but I hope that there might be another Mummy reading this going through something similar and they realise that it won’t last forever and one day they will get to be as happy that their baby is turning 4. 

 

Love you forever my little man 

 

Mummy xx

 

£250 – a huge tougher mudder thank you to Will Scott

A massive thank you to Will Scott for helping us to raise funds to keep going by running the tougher mudder in June .  His wife is one of the lovely mums who uses the Longstone (soon to become Sighthill group).  Here’s what she had to say:

“I have been attending the group at Longstone which has allowed me to be in touch with other mum’s going through similar experiences. I also found my counsellor through them and working with her has been invaluable for me in recovering from ante- and post-natal depression. I feel so lucky to have found these amazing women – and luckily I know have an opportunity to give something back so they can continue providing support that is absolutely invaluable. ”

We are so grateful to many of our mums and their partners who have been recently helping us raise funds.  In each year we need about £3500 to keep Juno running.  We provide weekly drop in peer support groups, access to subsidised counselling and we offer an outreach service.  Our funds go directly to: hall rental (including the very important teas/coffees/biscuits), printing of leaflets and other materials, training, subsidising counselling and other expenses.  The more help we can get with fundraising means the more time we can focus on running Juno.  If you’d like to help, please contact us.

MASSIVE THANK YOU AGAIN WILL!

LOCAL HEROS – we did it!

We were thrilled to be recently nominated and then win the Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero award.  It was such an honour to have been invited and such a huge recognition for the work we have done locally in Edinburgh.  Getting this award has made us even more excited about all the things we still want to do.  We’ve got a lot coming up over the next year and we want to get on the doorstep of every single mum across the Lothians.

Thank you Edinburgh Evening news and Central Taxis for that sponsoring our award.

Thank you to every single mum that comes along to our group and to ALL our volunteers past and present for all your hard work and dedication.

Lots of love, the Juno Team xxx

£360 – A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Claire Marsland

We are thrilled that Claire Marsland helped us by completing 5k at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on 28th May – she raised a whopping £360.  We are so grateful to Claire for doing this.  These funds help us to cover our hall rentals, advertising costs, counselling and training of our volunteers.  We receive no funding whatsoever except through donations such as this.

If you feel you could help us – then please do so by email our fundraising team.

thank you claire