Have you seen that girl? Bags of Hope

Have you seen that girl? has designed Bags of Hope to be given to mums and dads who are struggling.

Becoming a Mum or Dad is a major life change. Being a Mum or Dad is not always easy or straightforward, whether you struggle with a mental health issue or not. Everyday is different – some are fun and fulfilling, others can be long and lonely.  We experience so many different emotions – excitement, joy and pride in our little ones; to being afraid, anxious and overwhelmed – sometimes all in the space of 24 hours!

Bags of Hope are simply an encouragement, and a reminder, that even on the darkest days there is light & hope and that you are not alone.

Reuben (who is 3.5) loves to help me when I’m filling the bags or doing a delivery… he knows they are called “Bags of Hope” and says they are for “people who aren’t feeling very well”.

The bags were crowdfunded and have also been supported by a number of local businesses. At present, we have funding to create around 1500 bags.

What’s in the Bags?

Have you seen that girl? leaflet – some of my PND story and where to find help & support. These were kindly printed by NI Design at a very generous discount! It’s also available as a free download here

A Candle – A reminder that even on the longest, hardest and darkest days there is light & hope. These have been kindly sponsored by Give INC which is a group of local women who meet on a voluntary basis and pool their money (£1 per day or £30) to support individual or organisations in need.

Tea Bags – a chance to sit down with a hot (hopefully) cuppa! These were donated by Thompson Tea in Belfast.

Have you seen that girl? colouring book & pencils –  colouring is a great way for relaxing your mind. I’m delighted that these have been personally designed for us by Molly Cara Murray, a local young women who is an art student at the Ulster University.

Chocolate & Sweets – kindly donated by Lynas Food Service.

Voucher for Tribal Fitness Session – a chance to get out and meet others mum and their little ones and get some exercise/fresh air!

Special Discount Voucher for Bambino Massage NI (unique to Bags of Hope).

Who are they for?

My plan is to get these bags in the hands of parents all over Northern Ireland.

You don’t need to have an official diagnosis of Perinatal Mental  Illness to know that parenting can be tough, at times.

I hope to bring them to events where I am asked to share my story or speak with mums and dads; to work with local charities, groups and organisations who are organising events about Mental Health & Wellbeing and provide them for those; as well as getting them into the hands of individuals (made known to me) who are struggling.

 

 

“I have found the Bag of Hope a real help in my recovery. Not only was it full of useful information to help me understand more about where I could get help but the special touches of the other items have been so lovely. It’s not usual for mums to treat themselves (and I was no different!) however I found the items such as candle, herbal teas and chocolate to be just that – a special treat that I could sit, enjoy, and spend some time to myself for a change and to really think and enjoy the moment. Receiving the Bag of Hope was such an important milestone for me in admitting to myself that I wasn’t ok and enabled me to take that first and most important step in my recovery as I now felt able to reach out and get some help. I have no doubt that the Bags of Hope will continue to help families throughout NI and I will be forever grateful to Lindsay who created them and helped me take that first, important step in my recovery. ” (Mum, Sarah from Magherafelt).

What’s next?

Over the coming year, or so, I hope to run out of supplies – that will be a job well done!!

At that point, I will discuss with a team how to proceed, but I wil actively continue to look for sponsorship.

My dream would be that every parent, after giving birth, is given one of these Bags to take home with them. With a birth rate of approx 25,000 each year in NI that’s a huge task… but nothing is impossible… right?!

If you’d like more information email Lindsay, at  haveyouseenthatgirl@outlook.com 

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