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Mums crowdfunding to set up support website

The pair from Buckinghamshire and Berkshire want to support those with teenagers.

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:42am 5th March 2020. 4-minute read.

Mums crowdfunding to set up support website

A mum from Buckinghamshire and her friend are trying to set up a confidential website for parents to help each other with their teenagers.

But the pair need £10,500 to get 'Whatever Together' started up.

Whatever Together is an online community forum that will allow parents to connect anonymously to share the stress and worries of parenting a teenager.

Parents will be able to log on any time, anywhere, to offload, seek advice, share stories and be honest, safe in the company of other parents who are going through the same things.

Living with a teenager is an emotional rollercoaster.

There’s the stress of exams, peer pressure and hormones; the painful ups and downs of friendships and fears about fitting in; plus arguments over phones, curfews and untidy bedrooms. And then there are the really tough challenges like depression and anxiety, alcohol, drugs, crime, bullying – for some teenagers and their parents these are especially difficult times.

Parents of teenagers often find themselves stressed and isolated - not knowing where to turn, what counts as normal, or how to manage difficult behaviour.

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Parents can feel ashamed and angry when their teenager gets into trouble. Or just ground down by the relentless mood swings and arguments over homework. And with so many young people experiencing mental health problems, parents are often on the frontline supporting teens through really difficult issues like self-harming.

The £10,500 crowdfunding will be used to build an online platform where parents can connect anonymously to share their experiences and find support within a moderated community.

The funds will pay for buying and adapting the software, launching the website, awareness-raising to encourage parents to join, and managing the forum to ensure a safe and supportive environment.

The co-founders of Whatever Together, Nicky Runeckles (from Chalfont St Peter) and Anita Cleare (from Windsor), are both parents of teenagers.

After finding online forums really valuable when their children were younger, both struggled to find a non-judgemental network where they could be honest about the hurt and challenges of parenting teens. So they decided to combine their skills to fill that gap.

Anita Cleare, co-founder, said:

“It can seem like everyone else is doing fine – that it’s just your teenager who is making mistakes or finding life really hard.

"Parents often feel like failures, that somehow our teenager’s struggles are our fault and we don’t always want to admit to friends when our teen is being really rude to us or making bad choices (or hasn’t spoken more than a grunt to us in weeks!). Whatever Together will be a safe space where parents share their experiences honestly and get support.”

Nicky Runeckles, co-founder, said:

“Whatever Together will be a friendship group in your pocket. A group of people who really get it and who won’t judge or blame you.

"There will be advice from parents who have been there and done it and, when it all feels too much, a whole community to pick you up and help you keep on being the parent your teenager needs.”

Whatever Together are offering some great rewards in return for funding pledges, including a resource pack full of tips and ideas on parenting teenagers.

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