Family Support Practitioner Angela Flood is supporting families out of a new office in South Morang, expanding our sibling days to the area.
On a slightly breezy April day, 12 children gathered for the first ever Northern Sibling Day at the Galada Community Centre in Epping. It was a fun day of games, ‘getting to know you’ activities and art and craft, topped off by a healthy lunch.
Some parents enjoyed a well-deserved break while others stayed close by in the comfort of the community centre or the nearby shopping centre. The kids described the day as good, fun, exhilarating and sensational. They enjoyed all of the activities, but their most favourite was ‘feeling faces’, where the children decorated biscuits to demonstrate different emotions.
With so many families juggling many challenges the new local option was a relief and an enormous convenience. One parent reflected “For us it was perfect timing because our daughter had just been admitted to The Royal Children’s Hospital again, so for her sisters to have an activity on to support them was such a gift. Sometimes the stress of an hour’s drive to the Malvern based hospice makes us reticent to go there. It can make the journey a challenge with my child’s medical needs, so a quick 20 minute trip instead was super convenient and we all really hope Very Special Kids can offer Epping activity days again. It was wonderful to finally be able to interact with other parents and carers as well, since COVID-19 meant face to face interaction was minimal“.
Only two days later, 10 eager tween and teen siblings gathered at Westfield Shopping Centre in Mill Park for a burger lunch followed by activities at TunzaFun, including arcade games, laser tag and indoor climbing. The lunch provided a chance for the teens to be themselves and get to know each other a little more and understand why they are connected to Very Special Kids.
Siblings had the opportunity to just be kids and experience the joy of laser tag battles against their sibling and conquered their fears by leaping off tall walls! It also created a chance for some parents to enjoy some ‘me’ time, shopping and even having a massage nearby.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with one family commenting “The kids came home bursting from excitement, absolutely raving about the best day ever! Thank you for putting all of this together – perfect timing for this little family”.
Expanding Sibling Programs to the outer north area was made possible through a generous grant provided by Freemasons Foundation Victoria. Many thanks for your support!