Do you want to run away from Mother’s Day?

It’s the run up which is just as bad as the event itself and it can seem as if there is no escape from Mother’s Day, but if you are anywhere near Liverpool on Sunday, there is something you may want to know about. It’s called the Mother’s Day Runaways service, will take place in the Lady Chapel at Liverpool Cathedral and it aims to offer a safe space for those who find Mothering Sunday difficult.

Whether you’re grieving the loss of a mother, the loss of a child, or a baby through miscarriage, whether you’re struggling with infertility or childlessness, singleness or a difficult relationship, whether you never even knew your mother or whether there is another reason why you might find Mothering Sunday painful, this quiet, reflective service has been designed with you in mind.

It will be an informal gathering, where you will be guided through an hour long service and you can find out more from Saltwater and Honey (and you can find out more about them here.

Mindfulness group set up by Liverpool clinic

Congratulations to the counselling team at Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool who are running a free mindfulness group for their fertility patients. They say research has shown that mindfulness can be helpful for anxiety and depressive symptoms, and knowing that fertility problems and treatment has a significant impact on our emotional and psychological well-being, they are offering the mindfulness group to try to help with this.

The group is free of charge for their patient and each week will cover different short mindfulness practices – what a great idea.  You can find out more here 

Increases in NHS funding for fertility

Y3qgabAY_400x400Great news from campaign group Fertility Fairness which reports that seven CCGs in Cheshire and Merseyside have increased their provision of IVF from two cycles to three.  The CCGs in question are Warrington, Eastern Cheshire, Wirral, Knowsley, Liverpool, South Cheshire and Vale Royal. It is hoped that four more in the area may follow their example.

Meanwhile, eight CCGs in Portsmouth , Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight region will decide whether to increase their provision next month.  You can find out more by visiting the Fertility Fairness website. Let’s hope that this excellent example is followed by others who are still not offering the full three cycles NICE recommends.

Fertility in art

If you haven’t seen it already, you may be interested in this article from The Guardian about award-winning artist Tabitha Moses, who currently has an exhibition about her experiences of fertility treatment at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.  Tabitha had two unsuccessful attempts at IVF before finally getting pregnant using eggs from a donor, and now has a young daughter. Her exhibition, which is titled Investment, uses white gowns like the hospital gowns you wear for egg collection and she has embroidered them with images that symbolise her own experiences of fertility treatment. She worked with two other women and features the images of their experiences on other gowns.

The embroidered gowns are beautiful and will resonate with anyone who has personal experience of fertility problems and treatment. Tabitha’s exhibition has now been extended through to the spring, so there is plenty of time to catch it if you are in Liverpool over the next few months!

Creative fertility workshops in Liverpool

If you’re based near Liverpool, you may already know about the exhibition of work by award-winning artist Tabitha Moses at the Walker Art Gallery called Investment, which is her response to her experiences of fertility problems and IVF. Working closely with other women undergoing IVF, Tabitha explores their hopes and fears in a series of hand-embroidered hospital gowns with photographic portraits by Jon Barraclough.

Tabitha is also running some really interesting workshops called the Fertile Minds Creative Workshops for people with experience of assisted conception along with Rebecca Sharp. They will lead creative play using poetry and visual art techniques to explore participants’ experiences of assisted reproduction. No previous art or writing experience necessary.

Rebecca is a writer, artist and educator whose work in poetry, performance and prose can be seen through a series of acclaimed projects incorporating visual art, film, music and sound art. She has worked with a variety of community groups to explore identity, boundaries and the power of words, often in collaboration with other artists. She is based in Fife and works nationally and internationally. Rebecca was artist-in-residence with Metal in 2009-2010 and lived in Liverpool for ten years.

Tabitha Moses makes work about people; she likes to tell the stories of the overlooked and aims to do it with sensitivity and eloquence. She enjoys exploring art, crafts, cooking and gardening with people of all ages,. Tabitha has worked with residencies and galleries in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, Greece and across the UK. She lives in Liverpool with her husband, daughter and two cats.

The remaining sessions are 11.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 15 November and Saturday 6 December. All sessions are free and will include lunch and refreshments. Venue: Metal, Edge Hill Station, for more information call (0151) 7097 2277 or email edgehill@metalculture.com. To book click here: tabithamosesinvestment.eventbrite.co.uk