This week has been filled with news of Pudsey’s adventures as he and his team raise money for Children in Need to support projects for children across the UK.

And we are all very, very excited that Pudsey will be joining our team at The Donna Louise. This is a brand new initiative and without the grant we would not be able to launch this new and much-needed project.

We recently received the amazing news that we have secured a grant to develop the support we give to our siblings. Our ‘Siblings Matter Too’ project will be funded by Children in Need for the next 3 years.

Being the brother or sister of a sick child can be incredibly difficult. Parents and carers are naturally so focused on caring for that sick child, and sometimes they can feel “forgotten”. Siblings have to grow up quickly and maybe even take on caring responsibilities. Their opportunities to socialise, take part in activities, and just have fun, can be limited.

This project, funded by Children in Need, will fund a dedicated Sibling Support Lead and activities to give siblings the chance to socialise with others who are facing the same difficult situation. It will provide fun activities, away from the family and home environment. Counselling and Art Therapy will help them to express their feelings and cope with the challenges they face.

Pudsey’s support will help children like 8 year-old Rowan. Her brother, Milo is five and has a serious heart defect called complete AVSD, as well as Down’s syndrome. Milo comes to The Donna Louise for respite, and has lots of fun when he’s here. It is a special place for Rowan too.

Her Mum, Laura explains, “Rowan has to be very mature for her age, but when she comes to the sibling group she can be a child, have fun and talk to other siblings who are going through the same things as her. It has really helped with her anxiety. Being the big sister of a child with complex needs can be tough, but it has taught Rowan compassion, kindness and patience.”

Thanks from Rowan, and all our siblings, to Pudsey and his gang at Children in Need – we are super excited to have you in our Donna Louise team!

Photo credit: The Sentinel