Two new community clubs launched by mum from Holt
- Credit: Supplied by Donna Sibley
The trials and challenges of raising a boy with autism has inspired a north Norfolk mum to launch two new support groups.
Donna Sibley, 48, from Holt, has started the groups to help other carers and provide a welcoming space for people to meet and chat at the Treehouse community cafe in Charles Road, Holt.
Mrs Sibley - whose son, Alfie, is 14 - said she had learned how valuable sharing experiences and advice with others could be.
She said: "About four years ago we were told 'there's your diagnosis and off you go'. We literally had no help."
Mrs Sibley said she eventually found a school which could cater for Alfie's needs after primary school - St Andrews in Aylmerton, but "we really had to fight to get him in there".
"I was lucky that I got friendly with some other mums from the school - we go out for lunch and a chat about the trials and tribulations of daily life," she said.
"Other than that there seemed to be a bit of a lack of help out there, and so that's why I thought about setting up this group."
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One of Mrs Sibley's new groups, Carers Connection, is for anybody of any age who care for another member of their family.
The other group, The Welcome Cafe, is aimed at anyone who wants a bit of company.
Mrs Sibley said: "This is like a 'befriender' group. People can come along if they're lonely or if they feel that they've got no-one to talk to.
"It's a place to make new friends, share a hot drink and a piece of cake and have a general chat. It's all about getting people together."
The Treehouse was started Rachel Forsyth and Lorna Berry in response to the closure of a closure of a children's centre in the town.
Carers Connection meets every Monday 10am-midday, and The Welcome Cafe meets on Fridays, also 10am-midday.
To find out more about the groups, www.thetreehousecafe.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or simply turn up.