2021 Family Weekend round-up
After a 2 year gap, we were thrilled to be able to hold 2 Family Weekends in the second part of the year. The first in September at Marine Court in Littlehampton and the second in November at Jubilee House in Cumbria. 12 families together with Burns Care Professionals from the London & South East and Northern Burn Care Networks enjoyed a full weekend’s programme, starting with a fun day at the Farm on Friday and ending with the family swim in Fire Fighters Charity’s wonderful swimming pools on Sunday. While the parents spent time with Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists at their scar and stress management workshops, the children enjoyed play, craft and musical activities as well as a tea party.
The joint activities gave everyone a chance to spend time together (and some strong friendships were formed amongst both the children and the adults). These included swimming sessions every day at both centres, and slightly different programmes in Littlehampton (trips to the local Fire Station and beach) and Penrith (walking with llamas, petting animals, and a family quiz).
Our thanks to the staff at both Marine Court and Jubilee House, and to the Burn Care Professionals who jumped through all the COVID-19 protocol hoops and gave more than just their time to make this a memorable, fun and helpful time for the 19 children and 24 parents who came.
The parents said:
“Thank you so very much for putting events on like this, they’re invaluable to grieving, healing families, I feel like I’ve become part of a new family’.”
The parents/carers who attended both weekends reported feeling that both they and their children had gained a lot from the weekends. They described the benefits of connecting with others who have had similar experiences in addition to time together as a family and being able to gain knowledge, advice and reassurance from burns professionals.
The children said: they had enjoyed meeting and making friends with other children and seeing other children with a burn. They also spoke of doing activities they really enjoy, having lots of fun, family time and trying new things. One parent commented that their child ‘could see their sibling is okay now and it’s time for fun’. Another parent said their child had gained confidence and ‘stopped wearing their hat’ and another spoke of the benefit of them seeing volunteers who also have burns and are survivors
The staff and volunteers said: they felt that both they and the families had gained a great deal from the weekend. They described the network of support for parents, the healing opportunity for quality time together as a family and the positive impact of the workshop sessions for helping parents feel more informed, connected, supported and reassured. The staff/volunteers regularly spoke of the good organisation, great teamwork and benefits of connecting and networking with other professionals. They also described the privilege of being with the families and the benefits of seeing them at this different stage in their journey.