We chatted with Sally Bunkham from PANDAS to find out more about why this amazing charity was started and who they support . Their incredible support service is why we partner with their whole team.
Q: What is PANDAS and who do you support?
PANDAS Foundation is a UK-wide support service for parents and their wider families suffering with prenatal/antenatal and postnatal mental health issues.
Q: Why is helping those with perinatal mental illness so dear to you? Why did you start PANDAS?
I personally suffered with perinatal mental health issues following the birth of my second daughter. The feeling of hopelessness was awful and I longed for someone to help take me away from that dark place. PANDAS is there to do just that for parents in that same position. It was founded to help fight the isolation and loneliness many parents feel when they have children, along with the stigma that can accompany it. PANDAS helps parents feel less alone, understood and to have somewhere to go for support.
Q: What services do you offer?
We have a free (in UK) helpline manned by trained volunteers who are ready to offer help & support to all parents and carers. The phone line is open between 11am - 10pm daily on 0808 1961 776. We also have email support services and closed Facebook peer-to-peer support for parents too.
Q: Why do you believe everyone should have a will?
I know from personal experience that organising a will is a sensible move. It provides excellent peace of mind when we are alive, so we know that those we love will be looked after and cared for in the sad event of us passing. If the unthinkable were to happen, it also saves an awful lot of heartache to those same people, and takes away those tough decisions that would have to be made in our absence. It means less work and stress for them, which is of course exactly what we'd want. It was a big weight off our minds knowing that ours is in place and wasn't actually as stressful or expensive as I first thought to arrange. So I'd certainly recommend doing it, especially if you have children to consider.
Q: How can people donate to your charity in their will?
We would be delighted if people were to consider leaving a gift to PANDAS in their will. Every penny helps us provide vital support and services to parents and families in need. It's important that people seek the proper legal advice before making a will, to ensure that you have everything covered properly. You can find advice on this from the Citizens Advice Bureau and organisations like Bequest can also help. If you'd like further advice on how to leave a gift to PANDAS please do email email@example.com.
Q: How can people get involved in your charity, either through volunteering or donating?
We really appreciate all the support we receive for PANDAS, whether it's simply sharing and telling people about our charity, by volunteering or by donating.
We often need volunteers and will have a call out on our social media channels as well as our website when needed. You can read more about how to help here.
There are also several ways to donate. Just £5 allows us to give 30 mins on the helpline to a parent in need of our support, so every penny makes a big difference. All the details on making donations can be found on our website.
Sally Bunkham - Communications and Development Manager - PANDAS