At Sibs we receive lots of queries from adult siblings who have a disabled brother or sister, who want to meet other siblings. We thought we would let you know a little bit more about the support groups and what you can expect.
As adults, siblings may have the longest-standing relationship with their disabled brother or sister across the lifespan, beyond that of care providers, professionals and other family members. Siblings are often advocates for their brother or sister’s needs whilst juggling a work and family life of their own. Many siblings enjoy and value the unique connection and relationship they share with their brother or sister.
Coming to a support group is a great way to meet others who just ‘get’ what life as a sibling is like. It’s a place to support each other, chat about sibling topics and share information. Everyone at the group is a sibling themselves this helps siblings to know that they’ll be fully understood. Some siblings who join a group are carers for their brother/sister, and many aren’t. Some siblings who join are bereaved. All are very welcome, whatever their circumstances or level of involvement (or not) with their brother/sister’s care.
Groups are run by our trained volunteer facilitators, who are siblings themselves. They’re passionate about helping siblings to meet and support each other. The facilitators are members of the group too, and they will give and receive peer support like anyone else.
Each local group organises their own meeting dates and times, so once you’ve registered for a group the facilitator will be in touch to let you know. Groups are usually held on a weekday evening, for a couple of hours. There’s a meeting every 4 – 8 weeks.
All the local groups are held online at the moment, and they may meet face-to-face again in future. If there isn’t a group in your area, we have a national group for siblings across the UK to join (this will always stay online). We also have a group specifically for bereaved siblings.
What our group members say
•“I always look forward to the meetings and leave them feeling a bit lighter.”
•“I have met a fantastic group of friends who have always supported me when times are difficult and I feel a much stronger person as a result.”
•“It has given me the confidence to regularly take my sister out and try to build a better relationship with her which has also given my parents a bit of respite. I also feel more knowledgeable about care and have been given strategies to talk to my parents about the future which I hope to use when the time is right.”
Over to you
Are you an adult sibling interested in coming to a group? Maybe you’re a parent and you’d like to let your sibling Son/Daughter know about these groups? You can find more information and sign-up here. sibs.org.uk/support-for-adu...
Let us know your questions in the comments below!