FAMILIES of children with special needs united for a free afternoon of fun and games.
Mums, dads and their youngsters flocked to Buckland Community Centre where they enjoyed an array of activities, snacks and chat.
Hosted by Stand Up! – a newly-established support network for parents of children with special needs – the event is one of many regularly offered since the group was created in July.
Keeley Jewell, who has attended Stand Up! events since they began, took her young son Ryan along.
Ms Jewell, 28, said: ‘I couldn’t be without this group now – it has quite literally changed our lives.
‘Ryan has Global Development Delay and ADHD so days out can be difficult.
‘But there is no judgment here, there’s no pressure and kids and parents can come and have a lovely time.’
First-time visitor 24-year-old Michelle Morgan, from Fratton, took her two sons Hunter and Phoenix.
She said: ‘Phoenix is currently being assessed for autism. A lot of the kids’ groups we go to don’t understand that Phoenix doesn’t talk and he often gets called a baby.
‘But this group is really exciting. ‘There is no pressure and no judgement, from both kids and parents. We’ll definitely be coming back.’
Stand Up! was the brain child of friends Helen Barter and Kayleigh Brett, who both have special needs children.
Chairwoman Helen said: ‘It’s been my dream to be able to do this.
‘We had an idea of what we wanted to do and we were lucky enough to receive funding from the Portsmouth Carers Centre and local Rotary Clubs to do it.
‘Stand-Up! has been a massive success so far, but we have a vision to grow. Our goal is to become a charity one day.’
To learn more about Stand Up! – which also offers coffee mornings and movie nights – visit www.facebook.com/groups/447190202346638/, or email the group on email@example.com.