Support group is a ‘breath of fresh air’

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Entrepreneur Sara Pollard, director of Free From Temptation, writes about ADHD support group Marvels and Meltdowns

It is run every second Wednesday in Fareham Tesco’s newly-refurbished community room.

The group is now a registered charity and is run by the lovely Shandrika Day and Tricia Lyons.

They know first-hand how it feels to live with a child who is autistic as their own children are affected by it.

For Shandrika and Tricia it was vital for them to create a safe space for families like them who are also going through difficult times.

Beccy Tappenden, another member of the group has a young lad called Dom, who recently turned nine.

Beccy spoke warmly about how it is so much easier for her to cope now that she has people to talk to, especially as they are able to understand and share stories.

Her son was diagnosed with ADHD with traits of Asperger’s syndrome in Easter 2013 and she described to me the look on people’s faces when he would have a meltdown in public.

She said: ‘I would literally have to sit with him in my lap, restraining him so he wouldn’t hurt himself or 

She got very emotional while talking to me, explaining non-autistic families just didn’t understand.

Strangers would tell her how they would deal with it and that she shouldn’t let him get away with it, rather than offer her the love and support Beccy needed.

A gentle pat on the back would make life a little bit better when she felt her world crumbling.

And this is exactly what Marvels and Meltdowns’ purpose is. It’s a breath of fresh air in so many people’s lives.

Shandrika explained, that as most parents arrive, they introduce themselves, get a hug and then have a cry.

They need somewhere safe to have that release from all the strain they are under.

Amazingly this fantastic charity had just secured new premises, operating out of Crown House in Gosport as of December 7.

They are also trying to raise funds this Christmas to be able to help more families next year and are selling stocking fillers for under £2 per gift.

For more information, find the group on Facebook or email

n Free from Temptation is a small home bakery in Fareham.

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