Often the family of a life limited or life threatened child or young person may feel they are facing seemingly impossible challenges alone. We provide a mix of support groups which meet regularly so family members can take part in a variety of activities, helping them to express their feelings, build friendships with others in similar situations and reduce isolation.
"To see parents in the same situation and discuss how they can cope with it; you feel you are not alone."
Under 5s play and stay
Our under 5s play and stay is run by our staff and volunteers and is open to all children who use Acorns, and their siblings, below the age of 5.
This is a relaxed and friendly group whose aim is to provide an opportunity for parents/carers to meet other families and chat and for children to enjoy some fun activities, including:
This group is for bereaved and non-bereaved grandparents who meet throughout the year to share thoughts and feelings. The sessions are usually activity based and this is plenty of time for talking with tea and cakes provided. If you are interested in joining please contact your family team worker.
"When we first joined [the grandparents group], we were put at ease straight away with the help of Acorns staff. The way they talk to you and their response is tremendous; it helps us with what we go through. You can talk to other grandparents in the same situation as yourself, it's a great help to talk things over". - Graham, grandparent
Siblings support groups
We offer support for both individuals and groups of siblings of children in the care of Acorns in a variety of ways.
The Asian mothers’ support group
This group has met regularly since it was formed in May 1992. Its members are both mothers caring for ill children and mothers who have lost a child. The aim is to provide the opportunity for Asian mothers to meet in a safe and supportive environment.
The group allows mothers to exchange stories, share experiences and pass on practical advice on care and other issues. It provides much more than mutual support though, as it generates a great deal of fun and laughter. The mothers enjoy days out and social events including, skittles, outings to Blackpool and shopping trips to London.
The Asian Mothers’ Group has provided support to over 200 Asian women, who either have a child with a life limiting illness or have had a child die. This includes some bereaved mothers who are now caring for another child with the same condition.
“Being a part of the Asian Mothers’ Support Group has given me the confidence to develop and expand my life.”
“Seeing mothers in the same boat as myself - and some in a worse situation - gave me the courage to fight on. Here in this group, I didn’t have to act strong if I didn’t want to. Listening to these mothers talking, laughing, crying, complaining, all at the same time, made me realise I was not the only one suffering. We could tell each other what was in our hearts without worrying that we would hurt anyone in the process.”
All of our support groups are supported by our volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch.
Last year, Acorns supported 876 children and more than 1097 families, including those who are bereaved.
It costs almost £10million a year to run our vital care services in the hospices and community. This would not be possible without the support of people like you to help us to continue to provide care for local children and their families.