Parents and carers supported by Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice are celebrating as the charity’s popular wellbeing groups make a welcome in-person return.

The groups, which offer much-needed ‘me-time’ for families struggling with the 24/7 pressures of caring for a child with complex needs, have been taking place virtually throughout the pandemic.

Now the charity is delighted to have reintroduced the in-person sessions – with a festive wreath making workshop at the hospice proving a huge hit with those who attended.

The groups, which will now be alternating between in-person and virtual so they are as accessible to as many people as possible, give families the chance to relax and unwind while sharing experiences and supporting one another.

Kerry White, whose little boy Jacob has been through more in his short life than most of us do in  a lifetime, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with other parents and carers.

“It was really, really lovely and such a welcome break for us all,” said Kerry, from Rotherham.

“With the new variant we’ve tried not to take Jacob out and about too much so that human contact is so important. I work from home most of the time too so some days I don’t see any other adults at all or get the chance to socialise.

“So to be able to spend time with other parents and carers who are in similar situations, while learning something new, really does mean a lot.

“The fact that the groups are now held virtually and in person is fantastic. When you have a child with complex needs sometimes it’s just not possible to get out somewhere so to have the virtual option is really important.”

Bluebell Wood’s ‘hybrid’ approach to support groups means that they are now accessible to even more families as the charity expands its services to help as many people as possible.

Sherry Leigh, Bluebell Wood Family Support Coordinator, said: “The pandemic has been particularly challenging for the families who visit us at Bluebell Wood so we’re delighted be able to safely offer our wellbeing groups in person once again.

“We’ve learnt a great deal during the pandemic about how we work and one of the things we’ve taken away is that we can reach and help even more people by taking a hybrid approach to how we support families.

“It’s fantastic to hear our Christmas wreath making workshop was so well received and we’d like to say a big thank you to Yorkshire Blankets for providing the materials at a discounted rate.

“We’ll be running the groups fortnightly so if there are any local businesses who’d like to collaborate on the sessions in the weeks and months ahead, please do get in touch.”

Any businesses that want to work with Bluebell Wood as part of the wellbeing groups can contact Sherry on or [email protected]