Care is in the community

West Linton mum Emma Stenhouse with son Luis.West Linton mum Emma Stenhouse with son Luis.
West Linton mum Emma Stenhouse with son Luis.
A mum of three found out just how much her rural community cares when she “poured her soul” into a post on an online community page following a particularly difficult weekend.

Emma Stenhouse of West Linton now runs a “Caregivers Connected” group which aims to help neurodiverse children in her community, and it’s going from strength to strength.

Emma told us: “Two of my children have autism and ADHD.

"Back in October of 2022 after a terribly complex weekend, I poured my soul onto a community Facebook page in the hope that there were others in my community who would understand.

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"The response I had from my initial post was unbelievable. I arranged a meet up in our local village centre … and Caregiver’s Connected was born.

“We now meet once a month in the West Linton Village Centre.

"We have also started out reaching to different localities, which is just incredible.

“We offer a safe place with no judgment, we offload our worries and the challenges of that particular week, but most importantly we are inclusive.”

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Emma says that the group has enjoyed the input of guest speakers who visited and offered their services, and the community involvement in the group is now “huge”.

She said: “We are raising awareness of our young people’s complexities.

“Back in December we held our first ever Caregiver’s Connected Christmas party for all our neurodiverse children and their families.

"These are children who would normally sit out or not be invited at all.

"We had a absolute ball.

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"To see the smiling faces really pulled at the heart strings. We were invited to turn on the Christmas lights, which was a really memorable moment. The children of our group were in the spotlight for all the right reasons.”

The next event for the group is a “sports day with a difference” on Tuesday, May, 30, at 6.30pm on the village’s lower green.

Emma added: “I would like to invite everyone to this event to join in with games, silent disco, the fun fair and so much more, but most importantly show your support to caregiver’s connected and their families.

"Learn more about our neurodiverse children and let’s celebrate them, because they deserve to be celebrated.

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“This is going to be a night to remember. We will raise awareness of these young people within our communities, but also help them to identify safe members of the community that they can turn to in the event that they need help.”

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