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