Shropshire Star

Telford mother launches play sessions after attending 'lifeline' groups herself

A mother of two who attended "lifeline" support groups after having her first child has launched her own sessions to bring youngsters and parents together.

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Emily Reeves, 22, with three-month-old son Charlie and daughter Rosie, two

Emily Reeves battled postpartum psychosis after giving birth to her daughter Rosie in 2019, and now runs three weekly sessions in Telford to help those who may find themselves in similar situations.

The 22-year-old, who gave birth to her son Charlie in February, funds the sessions herself and has had interest from more than 700 people so far.

Originally from Longbridge in Birmingham and now living in Lightmoor, Emily said she only expected a handful of people to get in touch about attending the group, Stay 'n' Play in Telford.

"Last year I was put into a mother and baby unit due to postpartum psychosis, and during that time I attended baby clubs," Emily said.

"The friends I made were a lifeline, and when we entered lockdown I noticed there wasn't many similar opportunities around Telford.

Emily Reeves, 22, with three-month-old son Charlie and daughter Rosie, two

"I decided to use my savings to fund these and I thought maybe 10 people would be interested – I'm now running three sessions a week with plans to possibly run one more at the weekend."

Taking place in Wellington, Horsehay and Leegomery, the stay & play sessions cater for about 20 parents at a time and are available primarily for youngsters up to five years old.

Emily said: "I'm just hoping these will give people a chance to meet other parents, have a moan, talk about issues they might be facing and make new friends.

"A lot of kids will have never been to these either as they are lockdown babies, so it's the first time they've been able to socialise with others their age in a safe and fun environment."

Emily is also planning two birthday events, giving youngsters who may have missed the chance to celebrate their birthday due to lockdown the opportunity to get together with others.

With donations of toys from Morrisons, ASDA and members of the community, Emily is also appealing for any spare toy storage boxes that may be available.

For more information, visit Stay 'n' Play in Telford on Facebook.