We are delighted to have reached the 20th anniversary of the Acorns Sibling Group, which provides therapeutic support and fun activities for the siblings of children we care for.
Having a life limited or life threatened brother or sister can be challenging and at times isolating, and providing siblings with respite and coping tools is one of the most important services we offer. Working alongside a team of dedicated trained volunteers, our highly skilled sibling workers currently support hundreds of children and young people, with activities ranging from one-to-one support to arts projects and group days out.
Brothers and sisters of children with complex needs often have to take on some of the care responsibilities at home, and can end up feeling left out as a result. The Sibling Group helps them to gain a sense of involvement and belonging and, most importantly, gives them the opportunity to just be kids! We aim to help young people build self-esteem and confidence through a range of fun and therapeutic activities – whether that is creating jars filled with positive messages for a pick-me-up on a rough day or just a kick-about with mates in our sprawling hospice gardens.
Acorns provides an environment where children feel comfortable to have conversations that would be difficult with others, from discussing their worries with other siblings in a similar situation to sharing their feelings about the loss of a precious brother or sister. We find that young people take comfort from knowing they’re not the only ones who understand what it’s like to have a life limited sibling, while sharing also reduces levels of stress that might otherwise interfere with home and school life.
We believe it’s vital to offer a safe space for siblings to get their worries off their chest, but it’s just as important for them to feel free to just run around and play! Acorns Sibling Group makes our wonderful siblings feel like the centre of attention, and is a lifeline for children who have a brother or sister with complex needs.
To hear more about our amazing Sibling Group on its 20th anniversary, you can listen to Harry’s big brother George’s story.
You make it possible for us to continue supporting siblings of the children we care for.