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Our History

About Rollercoaster Family Support

Rollercoaster parent carer support service was originally set up by Wendy Minhinnett and her sister, who are both parents with lived experience and Nicola Harmer who was a CAMHS Nurse working for Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Trust.


The parent led and professionally supported model started as a voluntary monthly face to face support group, but as demand grew so did the service. Rollercoaster went on to become a commissioned service to provide further face-to-face groups, on-line groups, opportunities for training, coproduction, an active Facebook community and one to peer support by employing parents who had originally accessed support themselves. Rollercoaster were also involved in a number of projects and initiatives on a local and national level that focused on inclusion of children, young people and their families in mental health care. 

The work of Rollercoaster has been nationally recognised, including a National Positive Practice in Mental Health Award in 2017 and an impact evaluation showed positive results around supporting parents and carers who are caring for a child with mental health difficulties..

Where is Rollercoaster now

After 9 years of coordinating and running the Rollercoaster Project, Wendy took the personal decision to step back from directly supporting families. The Rollercoaster Facebook Community was passed into the safe hands of another parent led organisation - Parenting Mental Health and Tees, Esk and Wear valley Trust continued running parent carer support groups. 


Wendy is continuing to share her experience, passion and creativity by working  with individuals and organisations who are passionate about family involvement and engagement in children and young people’s mental health. 

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We get strong together and do the best we can
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