Cash boost will help this char­ity to smile

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP -

A CHAR­ITY which pro­vides support to fam­i­lies af­fected by ante and post­na­tal ill­ness has been handed a cash boost by a hous­ing trust.

The SMILE Group was awarded a grant of £1,000 from Mac­cles­field’s Peaks & Plains to support its work in the com­mu­nity and fund­ing for its weekly group ses­sions.

The char­ity, which was set up on Mother’s Day 2011 by mums who had ex­pe­ri­ence of post­na­tal de­pres­sion (PND), op­er­ates peer support groups out of chil­dren’s cen­tres in Hurds­field and Con­gle­ton.

Peaks & Plains gave the money through its Com­mu­nity In­vest­ment Grants scheme, which of­fers fund­ing to com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously pro­vided fi­nan­cial support to The SMILE Group, the trust was im­pressed by the char­ity’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and its im­pact on fam­i­lies - re­ceiv­ing more than 2,500 vis­its through its doors across both its sites, and pro­vid­ing piv­otal support and sign­post­ing to aid re­cov­ery from peri­na­tal ill­ness.

Natalie Nut­tall, chair and co-founder of The SMILE Group, said: “We’re thrilled to have ben­e­fited from con­sis­tent support from Peaks & Plains which will en­sure we can help cover our core run­ning costs and pro­vide in­valu­able, con­tin­ued support to lo­cal fam­i­lies. Mums and dads can be af­fected in so many ways, from anx­i­ety and in­som­nia to low mood and bond­ing is­sues, and it re­ally can be a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We pro­vide a wel­com­ing and re­laxed place to chat, drink tea and bring ba­bies and tod­dlers, as well ac­cess to a pro­fes­sional coun­selling ser­vice and com­ple­men­tary ther­apy.”

Founders of The SMILE Group are pas­sion­ate about rais­ing aware­ness of PND, hav­ing re­cently fea­tured on na­tional TV and ra­dio dis­cussing the is­sue. They also have pro­duced an aware­ness video which has been shared around the world.

Jessica Sharp­ley, en­ter­prise as­sis­tant from Peaks & Plains, added: “The SMILE Group is a real ex­em­plar of com­mu­nity en­ter­prise and is an in­valu­able support net­work for fam­i­lies af­fected by peri­na­tal ill­ness.

“The group has demon­strated its pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity, and we’re de­lighted to be able to support an ini­tia­tive that re­ally is chang­ing lives.”

For more de­tails about The SMILE Group con­tact thesmi­le­grouporg@ gmail.com or visit www. thesmi­le­group.org.

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