'We get it': Free coffee morning launched for parents feeling isolated

Handmade gifts and gallery intend to help parents of SEN children to feel listening to with their coffee mornings.

Handmade Gifts and Gallery intends to help parents of SEN children to feel listened to. - Credit: Handmade Gifts and Gallery

Crafts, open conversation and free hot drinks are on the menu at a new coffee morning launched for parents of children with special educational needs.  

Susan Rudling lives in NR3 and is on a mission to make sure that no parent of a child with disabilities feels like they are failing.  

The 47-year-old, who also runs Handmade Gifts and Gallery, said it took 10 years to get her son diagnosed with autism and she spent a lot of that time “trying to fit into society's boxes”.

To help banish those feelings Susan has come up with free sessions at her Anglia Square-based business.  

The sessions will include free tea and coffee in a friendly non-judgemental environment where parents are free to listen and share their stories.  

“The coffee morning is a way for like-minded parents to sit and chat,” said Susan.  

Susan Rudling, owner of Handmade Gifts and Gallery in Norwich 

Susan Rudling, owner of Handmade Gifts and Gallery in Norwich - Credit: Handmade Gifts and Gallery

Parents are encouraged to bring their own craft to work on as Miss Rudling is keen to improve the mental health of attendees. 

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She said: “Unless you’re living it you don’t know how that other person feels. 

“If someone hasn’t lived with a person who has special needs, they don’t understand how mentally exhausting it can be.” 

She said that the morning is a way to allow people to talk to someone else who "gets it”. 

She found arts and crafts to be a good release for her, and she wants to share that with people to help them to relax and meet people who share the same interests.  

Susan added: “Even if you only do arts and crafts once a week, it’s great, and to be doing it with other parents who know what you’re going through, it could really help people. 

“We want to help parents realise that they are doing the right thing and they are doing a good job, SEN children don’t fit into societies boxes, and we want to help people realise that.” 

The coffee mornings will take place on Tuesday mornings, and they are completely free to attend.  

To find out more, email handmadegiftsgallery.co.uk@gmail.com or call 0785775469.