A Week at Pandas Foundation

After last weeks blog from a Mum sharing her story of postnatal depression, we wanted to showcase the amazing work of Pandas Foundation who  aims to support every individual suffering from post or pre natal depression. They offer a telephone helpline, have local support groups, provide email support and an information packed website. Pandas was established in Shrewsbury and everyone at Pandas offers their support on a voluntary basis. Here is a week at Pandas Foundation…

Monday 23 April –I have just spoken four lovely people who are feeling very lonely and just wanted to hear the all-important words of “I’ve been there, I understand”. I have now put support in place to call each person individual over the next few days. Received two more requests for the Starter Pack for Pandas Support Groups. We also have a total of fourteen emails to reply too. Also arrange for people to start going through our website to proof read.

Tuesday 24 April – Been busy designing our new leaflets on Postnatal Depression, Prenatal Depression, Postnatal Psychosis, Anxiety, OCD and Healthy Living. These have all been sent off to our secretary to have them proof read. Spoke to a couple of our Support Group Leaders to see how they are getting on in their area, seems fantastic, at the moment on average of six individuals at each groups but varies between area and week. Spoke to one of the ladies from yesterday on the phone and seems a little brighter.

Wednesday 25 April – Seven emails in total for me to personally reply too. Looking at planning what material to use at our two conferences we have been invited to in May, one in Stafford and the other in London. I have left my husband and also co-founder Stuart sort all the design work out. Stuart has been updating the website, adding more information on to help individuals, their families and carers. Not bad for someone who is a self-taught web designer.

Spent time on Twitter and Facebook today, just asking people how they were, and putting a reminder out that we are here for support.

Thursday 26 April – Busy speaking to national charity Relate today, about a campaign which Pandas Foundation will be launching with their support, Kim (head of Marketing)has been a massive support and given us loads of advice with how best to get Pandas Foundation recognised. Our Pandas Support Group in Shrewsbury in run between 6-7 today, so will be looking putting all our information together which people have requested and go and meet them and have a good natter to see how they all are.

Friday 27 April – Had a call to the Pandas Help Line today, a lady which is really struggling and wanting to end her life, I have managed to persuade her to seek help, and have contacted the crisis team for her area. I let her know we will always be here to support her but the health professionals will be able to provide her with the treatment she needs. I will make sure I call her tomorrow to see how she is.

Spoke to two other people which called on Monday just to see how they are feeling, is lovely to hear when they say it is just a relief to hear when someone else has been through it.

Saturday 28 April – It may be the weekend be we are still hear at Pandas Foundation, having a day of sorting out what is needed to do, now have our whiteboard covered in lists of what is needed to be organised. I am looking into different fundraising ideas to see who we can get involved, Stuart is looking at sorting out the final touches to the leaflets which had been proofed read earlier in the week, and then these will all be updated onto the website for people to download in PDF.

Sunday 29 April – Andreas (my two year old son) helping me count out 500 leaflets and 20 posters to send to the two new Pandas Support Groups which have sent their affiliation forms back, so will get these posted out to them. General day full of emails, and calling some of users to see how they are feeling.

A good week for Pandas Foundation, our email support started in September 2011, our Pandas Help Line in December 2011 and the Pandas Support Groups at the end of January 2012, we now have ten support groups affiliated, and more in the process of looking for venues.

We are here to support individuals, their families and carers suffering from pre and postnatal illnesses. Visit our website www.pandasfoundation.org.uk or call 0843 28 98 401. If you want to volunteer for Pandas Foundation email volunteer@pandasfoundation.org.uk.

Thank you for your support

Rachael Dobson



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