Support Groups


We have a number of support groups that run throughout the year for parents, siblings and grandparents. These include:  

Parents’ Group

Having a child with a potentially life-shortening condition can take parents to the heights and depths of emotion; it can be overwhelmingly busy, enormously satisfying but also lonely and isolating. That's why, four times a year, Martin House has days just for parents of the children and young people who use the services of Martin House.

These days are useful to share useful information, experiences and learn from each other.  There are opportunities to relax, chat together or maybe try a new activity.  There may also be a choice of some pampering or massage or a guided walk around the area. Parents pop in for all or part of the day depending on their other commitments. 

 

Asian Mums’ Day

Every year we host a day for our Asian mums at the Carlisle Centre in Bradford. This is an informal day, from 10.30 until 2.30pm.  The mums who attend these days have enjoyed the support and friendship of the group. We spend the morning discussing issues of special relevance and the afternoon is spent having fun or perhaps learning a new activity or craft.  A lovely lunch is provided.

 

Time4Us

This group is for brothers and sisters of children and young people who use Martin House. Children aged between 5 and 15 are invited.

There are three Time 4 Us days each year, held at Martin House, either at a weekend or during school holidays and they are very popular with our children.

The groups provide an opportunity for the children to have fun with others who understand how it feels to have a poorly sibling. The day always has a theme and there are lots of fun activities organised which keep the children happy and involved. These might include crafts, baking, animation, sports, gardening and even den building! Sometimes we are visited by ‘Nuzzlets' who brings along lots of small animals.
 

Bereaved Parents' Group

A series of six days are held between Autumn and Summer, at the same time as the Time 4 Us 2 children’s groups.

The groups are facilitated by experienced members of the care team and there is a balance between opportunities for discussion and some simple activities.
The aim of the group is to enable parents to discuss and share their experiences in a safe, supportive environment.

We value the feedback that we receive from parents each year as this helps us to develop the support we offer.
 

Bereaved Grandparents’ Day

Over several years, Martin House has recognised the need and importance of offering support to bereaved grandparents. We are able to support grandparents through grief by facilitating a support group for them to meet together in a safe place. These meetings are run by experienced members of our care team. 

We offer care, support and activities that can help grandparents to explore their grief.  This opportunity to meet others who have a grandchild who died, helps them to feel valued and less isolated.  The Bereaved Grandparents' Day is for sharing stories, for those who are able to, and for discussing ways to receive and give support.  We also enjoy a leisurely lunch provided by the hospice. 

A second informal gathering is offered as an opportunity to meet up and chat about how grandparents are managing and any issues that arise. Grandparents in the past have exchanged details to keep in touch, offering each other ongoing support. 

What have some of the grandparents who have attended the groups told us? 
  • "I found it useful to be able to cry, talk and not be judged. Talking has made me feel better and I found the activity very rewarding."
  • "I felt that being able to speak to other grandparents and staff members was really beneficial. I opened up about emotions that are not spoken about otherwise."
"There is a need for the complexity and intensity of the grief of bereaved grandparents to be recognised, acknowledged and supported by Health Care professionals and society." Together for Short Lives

Organisations offering support that includes bereaved grandparents 
 

sMARTINies

This group is open to the brothers and sisters of children who have recently died, and can include children from as young as three years old to those young people around 17 or 18 years of age.

This is a space for the youngsters to get together, to be with others who are going through a similar experience, to have their needs acknowledged and to be able to keep in touch with Martin House.

We do activities such as bread making, parachute games, crafts and treasure hunts.  We laugh together but always make time to acknowledge their bereavement and allow them to talk about it, if they want to.

The groups take place at Martin House on a Saturday four times a year.
 

Time4Us2

These groups are run for children who have been bereaved for six months or more.  They are a mix of Saturday sessions at Martin House and one weekend stay on a nearby farm.

We want the children to know that we are there to help and support them and not just their parents.  We see how children ‘dip in and out’ of sadness, they can play happily one minute yet be tearful or quiet and withdrawn the next.  Children can also hide their feelings from their parents to protect them.
 
The groups are an opportunity to meet other children in a similar situation, and to see that there is no right or wrong way to feel.  We also help them to develop resources for times in the future when they might particularly miss their brother or sister.