Mother and daughter team from Fareham play cafe aim to help parents with mental struggles

(l-r) Sarah Henderson, play assistant, with owners of Sweet Peas Claire White and Pamela Lawrence. Picture: Sarah Standing (011119-983)
(l-r) Sarah Henderson, play assistant, with owners of Sweet Peas Claire White and Pamela Lawrence. Picture: Sarah Standing (011119-983)
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A MOTHER and daughter duo have teamed up to give parents somewhere to go if they are struggling with family life.

Claire Louise White opened Sweet Peas Play Cafe in Fareham last year to give children a place to let their imaginations run wild and a decent cup of coffee for parents.

(left and right) Owners of Sweet Peas Claire White and Pamela Lawrence with Sarah Henderson, play assistant. Picture: Sarah Standing (011119-975)

(left and right) Owners of Sweet Peas Claire White and Pamela Lawrence with Sarah Henderson, play assistant. Picture: Sarah Standing (011119-975)

But earlier this year was left upset by the lack of support for adults dealing with post natal depression and decided to open up a safe space to chat.

Claire from Gosport said: ‘Centres have closed and budget cuts mean that there isn’t enough support out there. When I was pregnant you used to get your health visits and you would have someone to talk to and get advice from but I have seen my friends who have had babies in the last few years struggle to get that support.

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‘You now have to weigh your own babies and it is so difficult to get a GP appointment so there is no one checking your welfare when you first become a parent.

‘If you are having your first child then it can be scary not knowing what you are doing and then you don’t have a health professional to ask questions to.

Along with her mum Pamela Lawrence, who works as a psychotherapist in North Wales, Claire is now running an evening weekly drop-in session for people to come along to.

Pamela said: ‘There is no pressure on people to talk if they don't want to but it is chance to share if they feel like it.

‘Support groups are really important but I think it would be dangerous if a professional like myself wasn’t there as you don’t want the wrong advice going out but it is so important for people to talk and know they aren’t alone.’

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Claire, who has a daughter called Florie, said: ‘We don’t expect to have loads of people but if it helps one person then that matters.