For most of us, the task of raising our sons and daughters can be trying, but with many others around us sharing the same experience, support is often at hand.
It is only when you have a son or daughter with a disability that you begin to notice that the landscape looks very different - it is often lonely and isolated, with a minefield to navigate as well as a constant rollercoaster of emotions to experience.
This isolation and fear of the unknown is exacerbated in a large region such as Dumfries and Galloway. A clear way forward is often blocked by obstacles such as the lack of information and support, fear and uncertainty - perhaps even more so in such a large rural area where often information and support depends on where you live and who you know.
PIN was established to set up a network of support for families affected by disability, by connecting parents and carers with others who ‘have been there and got the tee-shirt'. The benefit of these connections make the world of difference to how parents feel.
Members have said:
- ‘We faced our lives with a disabled young person against a random and chaotic support system. Information came through random and chance meetings, about someone who knew something about respite, about support you can get at school, etc. Then a friend told me about PIN and now I know there is someone at the end of the phone or email who can help. Through PIN, I met others, in my area, going through the same stuff and now I don't feel so alone.’
- ‘We were feeling distressed and isolated and meeting other families in the same situation really made a big difference’.
- ‘Talking to some of the other PIN parents was the first time we felt truly understood and got the practical information we really needed.’
- ‘I need a place to go to and feel as if you can talk about things and people will understand - only others with disabled children can really understand.’
- ‘I need someone to talk to when I am feeling like everything is getting on top of me, someone who can understand.’
- ‘We have survived by getting together with other PIN parents.'
You can contact the Parents Inclusion Network on 01387 252683 or email us.