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A ‘sail’ of a time for supported siblings

October 4, 2022

A valiant voyage was underway at the end of September, as a crew of ten super sibling sailors came together for a week with the Ocean Youth Trust.

The team, which included both bereaved and supported siblings, were joined on their nautical adventure by Ginny, our Physiotherapist and Paige, part of the Family Support Team.

The voyage is designed to develop confidence, team-working, the ability to cope with unfamiliar situations, and the tolerance and understanding of others.

Siblings of children who have life-limiting conditions can often feel alone and isolated and the ongoing emotional impact of uncertainty and worry can have a real affect on their wellbeing. Shooting Star Children’s Hospices siblings’ days, events and trips away are therefore very important to allow siblings a chance to have a break, some independence and  fun with those in similar circumstances and lets them explore their own interests and express themselves in a variety of ways.

The Captain of the Prolific, kindly shared some of the voyage log; “They didn’t set off on the first night but had briefings and activities on board,” explained the Skipper. “On Tuesday there wasn’t any wind, so they motored to Lymington in the September sunshine, with the siblings taking the chance to go out on the bowsprit and enjoy a chilled day.”

“Wednesday there was a chance to go ashore for an ice cream before embarking on a sight-seeing tour of the Noodles* *(little inside joke for the crew!). After that they headed onto Cowes, with a fire drill underway, and visited the beach before settling down for a film on board.

“Thursday morning the young people worked towards their RYA Start Yachting qualifications, and we finally had enough wind for some good sailing! They tacked back and forth until they were a skilled but somewhat exhausted team, before finally heading back to Ocean Village. All in all, they completed 90 nautical miles.”

Paige Bale, who is one of our Family Support Workers said, “Our voyage was full of fun, LAUGHTER, learning, exploring and friendship. The group really came together and made such incredible friendships and allowed themselves to open up, share past experiences whilst also providing support and empathy to others. Our siblings are amazing at supporting their own family, so to allow time away for themselves is invaluable. What an amazing ‘crew’!”

Ginny Hancock, our Physiotherapist said of the trip, “It was such a privilege to accompany this amazing group of young people on their voyage. They came together as a team and had time and space to be themselves rather than someone’s brother / sister. They pushed themselves to try new experiences and to support each other and I haven’t laughed so much for a long time.”

A huge thank you must go to all those involved to make such an amazing opportunity happen. You can see a full voyage tracker here.

Experiences like these are only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters – please consider donating today so we can continue to provide many more adventures.