Supporting the whole family

"Siblings are especially important – they can often feel neglected in a household which revolves around the needs of a poorly child."
James Morgan, Demelza’s Transition and Youth Engagement Support Worker, plays a key role in #TeamDemelza. 

Demelza doesn’t just care for children with life-limiting illness – we care for the whole family. 

Siblings are especially important – they can often feel neglected in a household which revolves around the needs of a poorly child.

As part of a recent away day to the Arethusa Venture Centre, near Rochester, ten of our 15 Older Siblings group climbed the face of a huge indoor climbing wall – and then tackled a similar daredevil challenge -  unharnessed! – in the centre’s special padded climbing room.

They also tried their skills at reverse orienteering and, later in the year, will be learning how to kayak at Arethusa’s indoor pool and on the River Medway.

James said: “For the sibling of a sick child the experience can be quite isolating for a variety of reasons.

“By running activities like these, we are able to create social opportunities for young people to meet peers in similar situations to themselves and hopefully empower and equip them to tackle some of that isolation.”

Every other month, the Older Siblings get to compete against each other in a variety of electronic games on the Gaming Vault bus, with its PlayStations, Xboxes and racing simulators.

James said: “The activities also serve to encourage our young people to push themselves. By getting together and supporting each other to achieve the best they can, everyone can leave proud of themselves for what they have accomplished.  

“They’re all little superstars - they just don’t realise it yet.”

As well as the Older Siblings group, Demelza runs siblings groups for younger children and holds drop-ins, parties and days out for all the family to enjoy, to ensure that families are able to spend quality time together, make memories and get mutual support from others facing a similar situation.

All our siblings groups rely on volunteer drivers and helpers in order to operate outings and visits. If you would like to volunteer, check out the opportunities available