A SUPPORT group for parents of children with special needs and learning difficulties is celebrating a successful 18 months in operation.

Set up by mum-of-three Andrea Badrock, the Russett Parent Support Group helps parents to gain knowledge about a variety of organisations and external services as well as offering an opportunity to socialise.

The 36-year-old, who lives in Winsford, teamed up with staff at the school after her two young sons, Jamie, five, and Vincent, six, began studying at the Russett School because of their severe and complex special needs.

Andrea said: “So far I’ve met some amazing parents, all of which are doing a fantastic job dealing with the day to day difficulties that our children face.

“We share stories and laugh together at the sometimes bizarre and at times upsetting behaviour and experiences that we come up against.

“With the sorts of needs and challenges we all have with our kids, it is just nice to talk to other parents.”

Although the group was primarily for parents and guardians of children who attend the Russett School, the group has since been expanded, and now has members from Runcorn, Widnes and Nantwich.

“We usually get anywhere between 20 to 50 people coming to our meetings,” said Andrea.

“We have representatives from charities and organisations who come and talk about a variety of issues so it can be really useful and helpful to parents.

“And because we’re based at the Russett School and meet in the daytime, it means we can talk to the specialist staff there.

“Having a child with severe and complex special needs can be overwhelming and so it’s good to speak to people in similar situations.”

The group meets every Friday at the school between 1pm and 3pm.