Beams are launching a new Sibling Club for young people aged between 11-18 years that have a disabled brother or sister.
More information and the launch date will follow shortly but in the meantime, we need your feedback, ideas and comments on how we should do this. Please complete the short survey here to help us get started.
Hello, my name is Alice and I have been a young carer for my younger sister almost my entire life. I am currently a student at the University of Cambridge and am studying computer science. I attended sibs club for many years when I was younger and it really helped me.
Caring for a family member throughout your youth can be quite challenging. Your whole childhood takes a slightly different turn to most of your peers. Learning responsibility and care from such a young age can be very influential on your life in a vast variety of ways. I found that having a disabled younger sister caused me to “grow up faster” than other Children, the time that my parents had to care for me was limited by the complex needs of my sister. This can be frustrating and be upsetting for everyone involved. No parent wants to feel like they are prioritising one child’s needs over the other. My mum was very eager to make sure I had the opportunity to meet other children in a similar circumstance to myself. So when sibs club was suggested to her she immediately signed up both me and my older brother up to attend.
Sibs was a group of young people that were caring for a family member (sibling), it was split into a younger and older group so you would be with children your own age. Being able to talk and relate to children my own age was such a relieve. We could play and enjoy ourselves with other children in a similar situation to ourselves. We also had the support of the adult helpers who quickly became a key part a support network for young carers. We had people to talk to who would listen and it was really empowering as a young person to feel listened to. We were able to have a lot of opportunities, including being able to go swimming and go on trips to places like London (Something near enough impossible and incredibly difficult to do with a disabled person) this amazing and really enriched our childhoods. As the club grew we moved to being based at cascades a swimming pool allowing us to go swimming every week if we wanted or just sit and talk with the other young people. This was great fun. We also used to have drama sessions which was so much fun and really allowed us to develop our confidence and express our emotions helpfully. I really loved these sessions and it definitely helped me grow with confidence.
I cannot express how the friendships that were built during sibs club helped me when I was younger. And I can say with certainty that I would not be where I am today without the confidence and support that sibs club gave me.Alice's Story