Family Action’s Sheffield ADHD Drop-in Café marked its first birthday

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The Family Action Sheffield ADHD Project is commissioned by Sheffield City Council, and has been operating for over 14 years. With £30K funding from financial organisation NewDay, the service was able to launch the region’s first free Sheffield ADHD Drop-in Café in 2022.

The birthday event, at Lowedges Community Centre in Sheffield, was attended by families whose lives have been changed for the better by the work of the Family Action team and their partners, and they all came together to share their experiences and favourite memories.

Mum, Grace Smith*, said: “I attended my first coffee morning at the beginning of the year. I was overwhelmed and exhausted from trying to support my 10-year-old and cope with the pressure on my relationship. I was greeted by friendly, understanding professionals and parents who really got it. A group of strangers shared and supported each other, shed tears, and laughed at the situations we often found ourselves in. My friends and family just don’t get it but others living it do.

“There’s no judgement, just ideas, support and a safe space to be honest. Every time I go to a café, I feel my needs are met and I can gain a little bit more. This is a fabulous service that I think has changed so many lives and I feel stronger in my mental health and able to embrace my situation.” 

The celebration culminated in the unveiling of special birthday bunting, created by the parents and children who attend the Sheffield ADHD Drop-in Café. The bunting contained illustrations and reflections on what the service has meant to the families, over the last year.

At the Sheffield ADHD Drop-in Café parents have the opportunity to come together to share their experiences with other families in a warm and welcoming environment. Part of the essential peer support the café provides is access to an ADHD WhatsApp group, which the families set up, that now has over one hundred members who regularly access this essential lifeline to other families experiencing similar struggles.

To find out more about Sheffield ADHD Drop-in Cafés visit: [email protected]

Cathy Midgley – Family Action Sheffield