The Sibling Support Group has been organising fun events and days away for almost ten years. It has been running since 2007 and provides time out at favourite venues where our patients brothers and sisters can enjoy time together.
It can be a lonely experience having a brother or sister who is very poorly and who needs round the clock care from mum and dad. The Sibling Support Group is designed to give youngsters an opportunity to meet and make friends with other children who have similar challenges.
The group meets on a weekend so school doesn't get in the way of having a good time. Longer trips away over two days are especially enjoyable, helping the children to relax and talk to each other about their experiences, guided by the care team.
Friendships soon develop and siblings often keep in touch with each other outside of the group. It's always good to talk to someone who understands some of the difficulties you face.
The aim of the service is to help siblings feel less isolated and excluded. It is helpful for young people to know that Butterwick is always there for them as well as their poorly brother or sister.
Recent outings have included bowling at Hollywood Bowl, a visit to the Forbidden Corner and a trip to the Sunderland Empire to watch Shrek.
The young people in the group decide where they most want to go and the care team plan and facilitate the day out ensuring everyone is given the chance of having an enjoyable day together.
The Sibling Support Group meet once a quarter and the care team encourage as many young people as possible to take part.
If parents who are accessing services at Butterwick House feel that their children could benefit from joining the group they simply need to mention this to a member of the care team.