National Siblings

This National Siblings Day, we’d like to take the time to celebrate the amazing siblings of our JHT children. We recognise that these children have had no choice but to help their parents care for their medically fragile brother or sister thus making them young carers, and amazing ones at that. They have had to witness many a medical complication, have to spend time in hospital, be passed between family and friends and take a back seat as their siblings needs demand so much time and attention. They also do all of this with such understanding and little complaint. They are the unsung heroes.

We asked our families to let us know, in their words, what it’s like having a disabled sibling and how the respite sessions we provide, help.


Zachary, 3, big brother to Ariellah

‘Zachary absolutely loves all the staff at James Hopkins Trust. He is always excited to take Ariellah and pick her up so he can chat away to everybody. He loves to come along to the stay and play sessions to meet more friends! He sometimes finds having his sister means he doesn’t get much 1:1 attention, but with James Hopkins Trust, he can now get a special day once a week where it’s just the two of us. He gets excited picking what activity we can do together whilst his “sissy” is in the amazing hands of all the staff!


Connor, 13 & Sophie, 8, big brother & sister to Frankie

‘Connor and Sophie are truly amazing children, they have seen and felt more than any child should, but it’s also given them a different view on the world, a more accepting view, now they see a feeding tube and see it as just that, child on oxygen? They just need some extra help, a wheelchair? Just a piece of equipment. They see the child, a child that despite all the added extras just wants to play, to be spoken to and to just exist in a world where they’re used to being looked at/through.

Sophie makes herself right at home in Kites Corner! She loves playing with the children, whether it’s running around in the soft play or sat in the corner talking to and passing toys to the children, when I’ve managed to peel her away she generally says the children are so lucky to have all those toys and fun ladies to play with! JHT include us as   whole family, the parties, activity days, stay and play sessions. The weekend and overnight sessions give me the opportunity to spend time with Connor and Sophie one on one and it’s worth so much!


Madeleine, 13, big sister to Ophelia

‘It’s nice to know Ophelia is in good hands because it helps me to relax knowing she is happy at JHT while me and mum spend time together. We often go for a Starbucks and sometimes we read together. It’s nice as my mum doesn’t have to rush off all the time or get interrupted.

I find having a sister with additional needs scary sometimes because she is always going to hospital. I like the friendly nurses they always have a smile and are cheerful when they see me which makes me feel more positive.’


Drew, 7, big brother to Tommy

These children are merely a handful of siblings that we also support with our respite sessions. Each and every one of them face different difficulties due to their siblings conditions and family life but they all have one thing in common, they are all amazing.

A Caring Sibling

In every laugh and every tear,
In moments shared, year after year,
In bonds that grow, unbreakable and strong,
We celebrate siblings, a lifelong song.

 For every smile, for every care,
For every dream, we’re always there,
In joys we find, and troubles we face,
Siblings stand by, in any place.

Young carers, heroes in disguise,
With strength that shines, like morning skies,
In their arms, burdens gently laid,
Their love, a beacon, never to fade.

So here’s to siblings, on this special day,
For the love they give, in every way,
In their embrace, we find our home,
In their presence, we’re never alone.

To the children of James Hopkins Trust,
And the siblings who give their love, robust,
We celebrate you, with hearts aglow,
Today and always, we’d like you to know.


To all of the JHT families reading this post, please pass on our appreciation to your wonderful children.

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