Estrangement support

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A national charity has been awarded a grant by Big Lottery Fund to run therapeutic support groups in Sheffield, for adults living in estrangement from their families.

Recent figures from the Stand Alone Charity suggest one in five families are touched by estrangement or disownment, and that the Christmas period is a key time of isloation and vulnerability.

Nik Brear

Nik Brear

Issues regarding abuse, divorce and re-marriage, and family rejection connected to gender identity and sexuality are often reasons for family breakdown and estrangement.

Stand Alone groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space to share experiences about dysfunctional family with others in a similar position. The Sheffield support groups are run in partnership with Wellspring Complementary Health Centre at their centre in Sheffield.

Becca Bland, Chief Executive of Stand Alone, said: “Family is a huge part of our individual and collective lives and an unconditionally loving, supportive group of relations is idealised in society.

“People often feel a sense of shame that their family network is not as supportive as the others they may see. This is particularly difficult around Christmas time, when the emphasis of society and celebrations turns to family.”

Krysia Ochyra, from Wellspring states: “The effects of estrangement are often unacknowledged and yet it can create isolation, grief, low self worth and depression. The therapeutic groups we deliver enable people to come together and find ways of managing the difficulties they face.”

Visit www.standalone.org.uk for group details.