If you are interested in adoption, getting ready for placement or you are an experienced adoptive parent please join us at one or more of our support groups. We offer peer to peer education, information and support.

These groups are for anyone on the adoption journey. They are informal and confidential. New-comers are welcome.

Please let us know if you plan to attend so that in the event of a group meeting having to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances we can notify you.

Antrim
When:  
     Thursday 28th September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:      Holiday Inn, Antrim BT41 4LL
Contact:    Anne –  anne@adoptionuk.org.uk

Topic:    Healing with Essential Oils
Claire Nelson has taught herself about the value of essential oils which she uses to support the health and wellbeing of her family. Claire went in search of an alternative way to help her child concentrate in school. She found that essential oils could do the job but she found she could do so much more with them – improve sleep, support relaxation and treat depression, anxiety and even epilepsy. Claire will share her experiences with you and talk about how she and her four friends have got together to promote and educate people about the value of essential oils. This will be a practical and experiential presentation and as usually, there will be time for tea and a chat.

Coleraine
When:       Thursday  21st September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Contact:    E.B.  ebmullan@yahoo.co.uk
Where:      Sandel Centre, 6 Knocklynn Road, Coleraine BT52 1W

Topic         TESSA stands for Therapeutic Education Support Services in Adoption.
This 5 year Lottery-funded project is available to support families whose adopted children are aged 2 to 12. TESSA offers a range of therapies for children and parents such as play, music and art therapy, reflexology, massage and counselling. The TESSA philosophy is “healthy parents create healthy families”!  TESSA offers training for schools where an adopted child is registered and helps children dealing with trauma develop strategies to manage feelings and behaviours and to feel safe enough to learn. Please come along and find out more about this amazing service and how you can avail of TESSA support.

Dungannon
When:        Thursday 28th September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:       Ranfurly House, 26 Market Sq. Dungannon BT70 1AB
Contact:    Sandra   sandrarodgers510@gmail.com

Topic                 Working with Schools for Better Outcomes
Many parents report challenges in trying to communicate their child’s needs to school staff, often leading  to conflict between parents and the school exacerbating children’s sense of isolation and exclusion. . This session will illustrate how to focus on building a support team around the child. It will help parents to work collaboratively with schools, to build communication networks which reassure children that all the adults are working together for their benefit and are cooperating over key issues such as behaviour, homework and transitions. This session will be lead by TESSA staff.

D/L’Derry  
When:       Tuesday 3rd October 7.00 – 9.00 pm
Where:       Holywell Centre 10-14 Bishop Street, D/L’Derry BT48 6PW
Contact:    Marie  marie.mckeownauk@gmail.com

Topic:    Working with Schools for Better Outcomes
Many parents report challenges in trying to communicate their child’s needs to school staff, often leading  to conflict between parents and the school exacerbating children’s sense of isolation and exclusion. . This session will illustrate how to focus on building a support team around the child. It will help parents to work collaboratively with schools, to build communication networks which reassure children that all the adults are working together for their benefit and are cooperating over key issues such as behaviour, homework and transitions. This session will be lead by TESSA staff.

Hillsborough    
When:     Thursday 21st  September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:    Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough BT26 6AR
Contact:   Judith  jdlinton3@yahoo.com

Topic:  Skill up your Support Network
We rely hugely on our family and friends for support in adoption, but often they have little or no understanding of the impact of trauma on our children’s behaviour, learning and ability to form trusting relationships. This evening aims to provide family and friends with an insight into what might be driving adopted children’s behaviour and their parents’ stress. We hope that a greater understanding of the child’s history can result in better support for them and their parents.  Please encourage family and friends who are or who will be part of your support network to come along. This session will be lead by TESSA staff.

Newry & Antrim   
When:        Monthly
Contact:    Elizabeth elizabethlyttle@adoptionuk.org.uk

Topic:    Support for those parenting extremely challenging children.
Elizabeth Lyttle facilitates two monthly groups (Antrim & Newry) offering peer support to parents who are struggling with their children’s behaviours. Contact Elizabeth for further details.

North Down      
When:      Tuesday 26th September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:     Queens Leisure Complex, Sullivan Close, Holywood BT18 9HL
Contact:   Wesley wzzrsgraham@netscape.net

Topic:    Working with Schools for Better Outcomes
Many parents report challenges in trying to communicate their child’s needs to school staff, often leading  to conflict between parents and the school, exacerbating children’s sense of isolation and exclusion. This session will illustrate how to focus on building a support team around the child. It will help parents to work collaboratively with schools and to build communication networks which reassure children that all the adults are working together for their benefit and are cooperating over key issues such as behaviour, homework and transitions. This session will be lead by TESSA staff.

Tyrone/Fermanagh
When:       Saturday 23rd September 2 – 5.30pm
Where:     Omagh Community House Ltd. Drumragh Ave,  Omagh BT78
Contact:   Mandy  davymcq@btinternet.com to reserve places

Topic:    Self Care & Wellbeing Event
“Fit your own oxygen mask before helping someone else”!

Looking after yourself is one of the best investments you can make as a parent.. We know how much commitment, energy and resilience adoptive parenting requires and we also know from the experts and from each other that when we reduce our own stress levels all the family benefits. At this event you will learn ways to treat and take care of yourself. The Wellbeing Team will provide you with everyday strategies to increase energy, improve mood, promote relaxation and reduce stress. The afternoon will finish with a 20-30 minute seated Acupressure Massage for everyone.  Healthy snacks and refreshments will be provided. Places are limited so please contact Mandy to reserve.

Parent & Teens      
When:     Sunday 10th September 2.15 – 6pm
Where:   45 Tannaghmore West Rd; Craigavon  BT66 6LL
Contact:  Elizabethlyttle@adoptionuk.org.uk

Plan:   Segway Experience
Our next get-together is a Segway Adventure! Don’t know about Segways? it’s a fun way to get around on two wheels! Have a look at www.segwayni.com  This is going to be a challenge!  For those of you who haven’t done this before now is your chance. The recommended age is from 10 years upwards and we can accommodate a limited number of adults. Please turn up at 2.15pm for instructions etc. Afterwards we plan to have a meal together at McDonald’s in Lurgan. There is a charge of £10 per person for this event which is subsidised by AUK.

Single Adopters   
When:     Sunday 24th September 2.30 – 4.30 pm
Where:    Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road, Antrim BT41 4LH
Contact:  Anne – anne@adoptionuk.org.uk

Plan:    Walk and talk for parents, children or young people.
We will meet near the cafe in Clotworthy courtyard at 2pm from where a ranger will give us a tour of the grounds. He will offer information about the history of the castle, wildlife and facilities on the site. This will be tailored to meet the needs of the group so any children attending will also be engaged. Following that (about 40 mins) we can take a walk towards the Lough shore depending on the ability and energy levels of the group and then return for a drink and treat in the cafe provided by Adoption UK.

LGBT     
When:    Tuesday 10th October 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:   ‘The Honest  Vegan’ 336 Lisburn Rd, Belfast, BT9 6GH
Contact:   Anne  anne@adoptionuk.org.uk

Plan:   Navigating the adoption process can be a challenge and it can feel invasive.
LGBT applicants have encountered their own particular issues and challenges. Now that many applicants are placed with children, the role of TESSA (Therapeutic Education Support Service) will become evermore important. Priscilla McLoughlin Director of Adoption UK NI will talk about the service and about the support that TESSA can offer new families. Priscilla will answer questions from the group.

Concurrent Care   
When:    Sunday 1st October 2.30 to 4.30pm
Where:   Clotworthy House & Gardens, Randalstown Road, Antrim
Contact:  Ruth & Phil Clarke  hetherington_ruth@yahoo.co.uk

Topic:  Concurrent Care
Lynda Graham, a trained counsellor with a social work background, will be with us to help us explore some of the emotional difficulties that concurrent carers may face. She will also talk about the work she has been undertaking with some carers to support them through their journey. There will be an opportunity to hear from a couple who have benefited from Lynda’s support throughout their journey. Lynda has an interest in post adoption depression/blues and will be able to talk to the group about this issue also. This group is specifically for concurrent carers, those who are approved and waiting for placement or those who are considering this option and want to know more. Where a baby is placed, carers are welcome to bring the child too.

Schools/Learning Support
When:        Tuesday 26th September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where:       Queens Leisure Complex, Sullivan Close, Holywood BT18 9HL
Contact:    Wesley wzzrsgraham@netscape.net

Topic:    Working with Schools for Better Outcomes
Many parents report challenges in trying to communicate their child’s needs to school staff, often leading  to conflict between parents and the school, exacerbating children’s sense of isolation and exclusion. This session will illustrate how to focus on building a support team around the child. It will help parents to work collaboratively with schools and to build communication networks which reassure children that all the adults are working together for their benefit and are cooperating over key issues such as behaviour, homework and transitions. This session will be lead by TESSA staff.

Mums    
When:    Thursday 14th September 7.00 – 10.00pm
Where:   ‘The Parson’s Nose’ 48 Lisburn St, Hillsborough BT26 6AB
Contact:  Elizabeth  elizabethlyttle@adoptionuk.org.uk

Plan    Weekender’s Reunion:
Have you been on a mum’s weekend or would you like to join us next year? Come to our reunion to reminisce (who could forget laughter yoga!!) or see what you’ve been missing out on. We are going back to Hillsborough Lake for a walk but plan to eat at ‘The Parson’s Nose’ restaurant. Meet at ‘The Parson Nose’ Hillsborough for a walk at 7pm and to eat at 8pm.

Volunteer Support Group co-ordinators are needed in general in NI but in particular for Antrim & Single Adopters’ Groups

 If you are interested in finding out more please contact Anne

anne@adoptionuk.org.uk or call the office on 028 9077 5211