The death of a child or having a brother or sister with a life-shortening illness affects the whole family. We believe that like parents, brothers and sisters need support too.
Our Elephant Club offers support to siblings, both bereaved and non- bereaved, aged between 6 and 17 years old. The club meets every other month from 10.00 – 3.00 at a venue not far from Helen & Douglas House.
Often children and young adults are worried about discussing their fears and concerns with their parents because they don’t want to add to their worries. Having a safe place to voice their concerns can help the young person feel less anxious and less alone, especially if they know that they won’t be judged for how they feel.
We offer a safe environment for siblings of patients known to Helen & Douglas House to share their feelings, individually with our Sibling Support Team or in a group with other young people. Every child and young adult is unique and we support them with a range of activities.
There are plenty of fun things to do within the club, as well as time for siblings to think and talk about their experiences of having a brother or sister who is ill or has died. The sessions are structured in a way which helps the young people share their thoughts and feelings with their peers who have been though similar situations. They get support from each other and develop new friendships. As well as structured activities there are also things like games, art and craft activities, treasure hunts, and trips out.
Aims of the Club
- To provide siblings an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation and widen their friendship and support circle in a safe and trusted environment
- Allow siblings to talk about their experiences, fears, wishes and hopes
- Make each sibling feel unique but ‘normal ‘, listened to, understood and supported
- To support the sibling with coping strategies to deal with difficult situations
- To build confidence
- To have FUN!