A BORDERS woman has created an online support group for parents of children with additional needs.

Zoey Lowrie, of Chirnside, wanted to launch the Facebook group as a space where parents can share advice, get help, and make friends.

As the parent of a child with additional needs, Zoey, 27, says she hopes the group will “make a change”.

She said: “I just feel like I want to make a change as a parent. I want to make a change, even if it’s a small change, in people’s lives.

“It can feel really lonely. Every child’s different but we’re all in a similar boat at the minute.”

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Zoey runs the group, called Mingle, in partnership with Meeting of Minds – a charity which offers support to parents of children with additional or complex needs.

Zoey, who is studying childhood practice, was inspired by her own mental health struggles to make the group for those who might find it difficult to pick up the phone to access support services.

“I have my own mental health challenges sometimes, and sometimes I don’t want to pick up the phone, I don’t want to actually go out and meet people.

“I just wish there was something I could talk to someone on.

“So this is what’s made me set this page up because I think quite a lot of people might feel the same – a lot of us have probably lost social skills as well, it’s been lockdown so long.

“What I’m aiming for is to create a community page where people can come on it to talk about everyday life. Whether it’s having a rant, like parenting is hard even with typical behaviour, but when you’ve got a child with atypical behaviour it is quite challenging.

“I kind of felt that loneliness and I didn’t know where to reach out to for just a normal chat, so I thought if I set up this page it will be quite a good idea if people can post about achievements, or hints and tips.”

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Zoey’s eldest son Callum, aged six, has sensory processing disorder, global development delay, hypermobility, and autism.

“This was all new to me,” Zoey explained. “He [Callum] was my first child and I could remember the feeling of ‘oh god, I’m so alone in this’.

“I did find Meeting of Minds – they’ve really supported our family, especially during lockdown.

“I had my third baby the day before lockdown last year, but on top of having the baby and the difficulties with Callum, there was a lot of anxiety with him with the whole virus, trying to get him to understand that he’s not going to school anymore.”

Mingle – Meeting of Minds is open to parents from across the Borders and North Northumberland, and Zoey hopes members will be able to grab a coffee together or take part in other events in the future.

Search for Mingle – Meeting of Minds on Facebook and request to join the group.