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3:17 PM 12th August 2020

Virtual Wellbeing Groups Offer Much-needed Me-time For Parents And Carers

Bluebell Wood is delivering a much-needed dose of calm and serenity to the doors of local families as their popular wellbeing groups go virtual.

Charlotte Lee with her daughter Gracie
Charlotte Lee with her daughter Gracie
The groups, which took place at the hospice before the pandemic, offer families supported by Bluebell Wood the chance to relax and unwind while sharing experiences and supporting one another.

The popular workshops were a big hit with parents and carers who enjoyed the chance to have a break from the pressures of looking after a child with complex needs, while learning new skills including aromatherapy, chocolate making, yoga and much more.

Now the workshops have gone virtual, with parents and carers gathering on a Zoom call while all the necessary items are delivered straight to their door.

The first Macrame workshops – a textile based craft – were a resounding success with local firm Wrap in Wood kindly providing the necessary materials at a discounted rate.

Charlotte Lee, whose 11-year-old daughter Gracie has a rare life-shortening condition that affects the nervous system called Leukodystrophy, said the session provided a rare and much-needed break from the ‘military operation’ of caring for a child 24/7.

“It was really, really good and lots of fun,” said Charlotte, from Sheffield.

“It’s just so lovely to have the chance to talk to others who are in a similar situation, and not just about our children. Even if it’s just chatting about silly things and having a laugh, it makes such a difference.

“It’s something nice and relaxing that you can do for yourself, and I can’t wait for the next one.”

As some of the charity’s services have been delivered to families remotely through the pandemic, Bluebell Wood’s family support team are busy expanding their offer.

With a weekly coffee morning and a book club also being launched this month, parents and carers will have even more opportunities to take some ‘me-time’.

Sherry Leigh & Amy Williams, Family Support Coordinator at Bluebell Wood, said:
“Our groups are designed to give the families in our care the chance to prioritise themselves, which is something they rarely get the chance to do.

“Reducing isolation and positive peer support is incredibly important at the best of times, and we know many of the families we support have been shielding for such a long time. That’s why our support groups are so empowering for parents and carers.

“We’ll be running the sessions 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.”

Upcoming sessions include ribbon wreaths, aromatherapy, mindfulness and yoga and the team are open to suggestions from businesses who want to get involved.

Any businesses that want to work with Bluebell Wood as part of the wellbeing groups can contact Amy or Sherry on amy.williams@bluebellwood.org or sheridan.leigh@bluebellwood.org