Parenting in a pandemic – free online support for Bradford families

Parenting in a pandemic – free online support for Bradford families


Bradford based charities The Cellar Trust and Brathay are working in partnership to provide free, much-needed, emotional support to parents via an online platform called PARENTS Online.

As 2021 continues to face a number of difficulties, the world has started to take more notice of the increased pressure on parents, considering more ways in which to support them with their mental health.

The pandemic that hit in late 2019, through 2020, and into 2021 has seen parents juggling multiple responsibilities. Schools have closed with less than 24 hours’ notice, class bubbles have burst and parents have often balanced a combination of home-schooling, increased workloads, working from home or building tensions resulting from being furloughed. These increased pressures alongside the additional stress and isolation of lockdown are understandably causing many parents to suffer from various mental health problems.

Suffering from depression, anxiety, and loneliness are just some of the consequences to come out of spending so much time at home spinning plates, whilst frantically trying to meet all of our family commitments. The school-run feels like a military operation with staggered pick-up times for our different children. Even a chat at the gate with other parents has often involved a 2-metre distance through a face-mask. This has led to many parents understandably feeling alienated and wondering if they are the only ones struggling with being pulled in so many different directions.

The Cellar Trust and Brathay are working together to provide a non-judgemental ear when parents need it most. PARENTS Online launched on Tuesday 6th July and runs Monday to Friday 6pm-9pm. The free service provides text-based emotional support from trained volunteers through an online platform. Parents can chat confidentially and openly about their feelings with someone who has their own experience of parenting. Staffed by volunteer parents who are trained to listen and support people through whatever they are facing, parents can reach out to someone who appreciates how difficult parenting can be.

David Grant-Roberts, Lead Peer Support at The Cellar Trust says; “Parenting can be the most difficult of jobs and what makes it harder is that none of us are given a handbook that gives us all of the answers. Sometimes we can all struggle but it can be daunting to speak to other parents about it for fear of what others might think or feeling like you’re ‘failing’. PARENTS Online gives all parents and carers the chance to talk openly without judgement to people who understand. Sometimes all we need is to be listened to and that’s where PARENTS Online can help’.

Parents can access the free PARENTS Online platform by visiting David Grant-Roberts can be contacted with any related queries on 01274 586474, or via email at

New Mental Wellbeing Training Platform launched in Bradford

New Mental Wellbeing Training Platform launched in Bradford

July 2021

The Living Well Mental Health and Wellbeing Training Platform has been launched by The Cellar Trust, in collaboration with Living Well and a network of training providers from voluntary, community, and public sector organisations across Bradford district.


This training platform has been created to support the development of mental wellbeing knowledge and skills within the Bradford district workforce and to improve the mental health of its citizens.  The platform provides access to a wide range of mental health and wellbeing training, hosting a variety of free e-learning modules and webinars. These modules lead to a range of resources, designed to support mental health and wellbeing in the district.

Mental wellbeing has been at the forefront in recent months due to the effects of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions.  Peoples’ experiences during this time have raised an awareness of the need for mental health services and provision, especially amongst staff working on the front line.  People who already struggle with their mental health have also reported feeling increased levels of mental distress and isolation.  The Cellar Trust has continued to work with clients remotely and, when possible, face to face, to support people during this time and the digital training platform will now enhance this support.

This new training platform provides access to free courses covering; mental health awareness, the causes of low mood, improving sleep, suicide awareness and understanding the effects of stress. It links to a range of further resources, so that those who need help with their mental health can access support quickly and easily.

Kim Shutler, CEO at the Cellar Trust, said: “In light of the year we have all had, there has never been a better time to offer an online platform for mental health and wellbeing training. These valuable courses can be taken by individuals really struggling with their mental health in the safety and privacy of their own homes and can have a significant impact on their wellbeing. Here at the Cellar Trust and alongside Living Well and our partners in the District, we are delighted to be able to offer such a valuable service”.

Rose Dunlop, Public Health Consultant at Living Well said: “We are delighted to work with The Cellar Trust to provide this training platform. It’s really important that we address the mental wellbeing needs of people in our district, especially after the pandemic and we are really pleased to be able to offer these new free training courses”.

People experiencing problems with the mental health and wellbeing can access the site at