In the UK we have more than 700,000 young carers delivering unpaid care to a member of their family. At Family Fund we support young carers and understand that caring for a parent or a sibling can have a huge impact on their life. A lot of young carer’s go unrecognised as does the impact a disabled brother or sister has on a child or young person.

‘Do Siblings Matter Too?’ is a report we released recently with the University of Portsmouth looking at the affects of having a sibling with a disability. The report highlights a number of key themes for siblings ranging from elements of a typical sibling relationship to issues of lack of time, experience of aggression, violence and emotional upset.

A 17 year-old sibling who spoke about their experience for the report said:

“I think that being a sibling you get your ups and downs anyway…but just because there is the added bit of the disability sometimes you don’t know what she is going to do or how she’s going to take it or react, you have to be a bit more careful, because it can be a bit of a rollercoaster, up and down.”

Read the full report.

Ffion’s Story

Ffion was diagnosed with Streptococcus A sepsis in 2013 which resulted in the amputation of her left foot and blindness in her right eye. This meant she was in and out of hospital frequently over a 12 month period. The family hardly ever got to spend quality time together.

“We requested a Haven holiday and booked to go to Greenacres near Aberystwyth. The site is only an hour and a half from our house so we didn’t have to tolerate too much ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ in the car. Ffion and brother Charlie, aged 6, spent most of their time in the pool, they are such water babies. Charlie is great with Ffion, he’s so helpful and caring and really will do as much as he can to support her. The grant allowed us to go and create some early childhood memories for Ffion and Charlie straight away rather than have to save up for a couple of years; it provided us with a break when we really needed it the most.”

Get in touch if you would like to work with Family Fund on helping support siblings of disabled children.