Two youth workers in Buncrana have started a club to concentrate on the needs of children in families affected by disability. 

Catriona McEleney and Agnes Doherty are launching a new siblings’ group at iCARE this month to focus on the experiences of the brothers and sisters of children with special needs.

Starting on Thursday 8th February, the duo will be welcoming children each week for two hours of fun activities including dancing, music, cookery, arts, sport, support, home work club and informal education. Particular attention will be paid to the children’s personal feelings growing up in a home where their parents’ attention may often be focused on another child.

Organisers said: “Having a child with special needs affects the whole family, including any siblings. Siblings may experience feelings of loss and resentment when their brother or sister with special needs hogs a large part of parental time and attention.

“Siblings may be unable to talk to other people about their experiences, which can lead to feelings of isolation, particularly if parents don’t always want to share details of their sibling’s condition with them.”

The team at iCARE, the parent-run community organisation for children with autism, have a particular awareness of how a disability can affect a family. They recognise the need for sibling support groups so they can be in contact with people who ‘get them’.

Catriona shared the big plans ahead for the group: “We are really excited about starting this new club, it will be youth led and we would like to see as many siblings join as possible, we hope to organise fun activities throughout the year, including trips away in the summer.”

The new club starts on Thursday 8th February 2018 at 5pm in the iCARE Centre, registration starts at 4:45pm, non iCARE members are welcome, this club is open to any child aged 4-12 years old from Inishowen area. The new club will then meet every Thursday from 5pm – 7pm.

For more information contact the iCARE centre on 0749362226 or Mobile 0861081200