A new well-being group offering much-needed ‘me time’ for parents and carers of children supported by Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has been praised as “brilliant” and a “lifeline” by attendees. 

It comes after Bluebell Wood recently launched the well-being group to give parents the chance to learn new skills while meeting others in similar situations. 

The popular bimonthly workshops, which cover activities ranging from aromatherapy to yoga, have proved a big hit with parents since launching in August. The well-being group complements Bluebell Wood’s existing family support services which offer bespoke support for families including counselling, music therapy, sibling workshops, activities and family-fun days. 

Rebecca Westwood, whose son Jack is supported by Bluebell Wood, said: “I just want to say that the wellbeing groups have been absolutely brilliant.

“I’ve got to meet other parents and share experiences with them and I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to just approach other people without this opportunity. 

“I’m really loving coming to try new things and I hope there’ll be lots more in the future.”

Another user whose son is supported by Bluebell Wood called the groups a “lifeline”.

She said: “Since starting the well-being group I’ve found silence in my own head - discovered a love of knitting, soap making, aromatherapy and chatting about the mindless stuff again!

“It’s silly stuff that make the difference - other parents feeling my excitement at four hours sleep and them understanding how much of an achievement that is rather than saying ‘oh no poor you I don’t know how you do it’.”

In the months ahead there are activities planned including bird feeder making, bulb planting, therapeutic art, mindfulness sessions, and Christmas wreath making.

Sherry Leigh, Family Support Worker at Bluebell Wood, said: “The workshops give parents and carers, who can often feel quite isolated, the chance to have time out for themselves, learn new skills, meet new people and connect to a support network with others who are in a similar situation.

“Looking after a child with complex needs can affect the whole family that’s why we’re committed to supporting parents, carers and siblings here at Bluebell Wood.

“I’m very much looking forward to welcoming more new faces to the workshops in the weeks and months ahead.”

For more information on Bluebell Wood’s wellbeing groups and family support services, call 01909 517 369 or go to https://www.bluebellwood.org/family-and-sibling-support

If any local businesses want to work collaboratively with Bluebell Wood as part of the wellbeing groups, contact Sherry on [email protected]