This programme provides non-disabled siblings aged from eight to eighteen years with a opportunity which assists them to cope with the challenges and stresses of living with a brother or sister who has a disability or special need.
- Weekend Programme:
Siblings are divided, according to age, into groups for formal sessions. facilitators are siblings themselves and are able to offer empathy, individual support and an emotionally safe environment for the young people. A variety of recreational activities are also part of the weekend. The recreational experience is fun and rewarding, and promotes informal sharing, with friendships continuing long after the weekend camp.
This is a busy interactive day for siblings. Issues are discussed and feelings shared in a interspersed with team building games, theatre sports and lots of fun. The young people are supported by facilitators and leaders who also have brothers and sisters with special needs.
Social Network Site
SibSupportNZ.org.nz is a social networking website available to all siblings that have attended a workshop or weekend camp.
This website has been created as a result of feedback from siblings, parents and leaders.
Siblings wanted a social networking site where they could chat and stay in touch with new friends they had met at the camps and workshops. Parents wanted a safe internet environment with the reduced risk of online predators and cyber bullying. With the support of a local software developer, Scott Townsend, SibsupportNZ.org.nz network was developed with these issues in mind.
We have created a site that has all the features of the major social networks, but is only open to invited members who have attended our or .
Once accepted into the network by the approved moderator, siblings can chat and share their experiences with other siblings they met through the programme.
The moderator is a facilitator who can answer any questions or issues put forward by the sibs. Any photo, image or video loaded onto the site remains the property of the member, however the moderator has the authority to remove any content or member that does not meet with the terms and conditions of the site or is deemed unsuitable for the purpose of the site.
Our 2nd Generation programme is a part of our sibling support programme and is available to adult siblings who are interested in being an important part of the support and guidance of their disabled brother or sister. The person that will have the
longest relationship with a person with a disability is his or her sibling.
As their parents age it is the disabled persons sibling/s who most often assumes the responsibility for care and guidance of their disabled brother or sister. 2nd Generation assists siblings to come to grips with the often daunting and complex financial legal and welfare issues which arise with this responsibility. This two day programme also focuss on ideas and knowledge to help their sibling attain a good life, create circles of support, and assist them to seek out help and support for themselves.
This two day programme will focus of the unique prospective of adult siblings and parents of adults with disabilities and the distinctive dynamics of the relationship they have with them. It will provide practical advice and information about how to manage the role of advocate, and how to achieve a good life.
Workshops begin at 5.50 pm, in time for dinner on Friday, and run through to 4.30 pm Sunday.
Workshops are free to siblings and their parents and may include accommodation and meals.
Feedback from the March 2012 Weekend Workshop
A weekend workshop was held in Auckland over the 9 11 March 2012. Mother and daughter Rose and Skye Chadwick attended and share their experiences of the 2nd Generation workshop.
Rose, Timothys mother:
My son Timothy is now almost 27 years old, lives at home with my husband and me, and attends a service-provided day programme which I, along with other families, have been very involved in setting up. I think our approach over the years has been to make the well-travelled path that Timothy has followed as happy a journey for him as possible.
The 2nd Generation workshop encouraged us to consider that there are other completely different paths that we didn't even know were on the map! We were challenged to identify what constitutes a good life, and to create a vision for Timothy that includes the qualities we value. Several families were guest presenters and shared their personal stories about innovative and different support systems that they had created to enable their sons or daughters to live full and rewarding lives. Lorna Sullivan was an inspiring speaker, whose wealth of experience enabled her to give examples of what could be possible and practical suggestions of things we could do to create better lives for our children.
A huge strength of the workshop was its inclusion of parents with adult siblings, so that families can continue to carry on discussions and support each other to take actions after the workshop. As one of the quotes Lorna shared with us says, When you dream alone it remains a dream; when you dream together it is the beginning of a new reality.
Skye, Timothys sister:
Over the weekend of 9th-11th of March, I was lucky to head up to Auckland for the adult sibling and parent workshop with my mum. The weekend provided an amazing opportunity to look with fresh eyes at our journey as a family supporting my brother Timothy. During the workshops the siblings and parents split into two separate groups giving us the chance to individually dream about the future before creating a common vision. It was wonderful to share and listen to everyones personal experiences and catch a small glimpse into one anothers lives.
I was inspired to reflect and reimagine what might be possible within our own family. It was very special that Mum and I were given the space to talk about the future and dream together. It was a
great reminder to be courageous and dare to explore, create and discover. Now back at home we are working to manifest some of our dreams, including supporting Timothy to come flatting with me part-time. I look forward to the adventures that await us!