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Collier Row parents support group Butterflies celebrates first birthday

PUBLISHED: 15:17 22 January 2019

Perinatal champions Michelle and Tash from the Butterflies parents support group which is celebrating its first birthday. Picture: Havering Council

Perinatal champions Michelle and Tash from the Butterflies parents support group which is celebrating its first birthday. Picture: Havering Council

Havering Council

A specialist group for new mums and dads cope with the early days of parenthood, is celebrating its first birthday.

Butterflies, the perinatal peer support group which meets weekly at the Collier Row Children’s Centre, Clockhouse Lane, Collier Row, was set up to support parents who may be experiencing low moods, anxiety or depression related to pregnancy or becoming a parent.

It has so far supported more than 70 families since it was set up a year ago.

Cabinet member for education, children and families, Councillor Robert Benham, said: “Butterflies is unlike other parenting support groups.

“It offers parents in Havering the unique opportunity to meet other mums and dads who are affected by depression and low mood, get advice and support and helps them to know they are not alone.

“The most recent figures show that around 500 women in Havering were affected by anxiety and mild to moderate depression linked to pregnancy, childbirth and becoming a parent.

“Early diagnosis makes a vast difference to their wellbeing, as they can be supported through the group and other parents in similar situations.”

As well as offering advice and support, Butterflies is a place where parents can relax and chat to other parents in a welcome and friendly environment.

Butterflies’ success has led to plans for a second group to be launched this year in the south of the borough.

One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It has helped me through my depression and anxiety by just having someone to talk to. I am happy when I’m here.

“I know I’ve got people I can turn to if I have any problems.”

The group is led by Havering’s Early Help Perinatal Champions and runs every Tuesday morning between 10am and 11.30am at the Collier Row Children’s Centre.

Parents can be referred by a health visitor or they can just drop into Butterflies themselves, where the activities range from arts and crafts and play sessions to group discussions.

For more information about Butterflies, visit havering.gov.uk/butterflies

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