When children get together at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith fun and giggles always follow. Our care teams are devoted to helping them to live their best lives, building happy memories for them and their families to treasure.  

At the aptly named Sunshine Group, younger children with life-threatening conditions and their families have the opportunity to get together every week at Hope House.

Friendships are formed, support is available from our care team and specialists in areas such as symptom management and physiotherapy, and everyone has the chance to relax and discuss the things that concern them most.

Our Activities Support Worker Mel and Occupational Therapist Emma run the group and delight in finding different activities for the children and families to enjoy, from therapeutic swimming to music and craft sessions, and from days out at the seaside to visits from exotic animals.

“The children have flourished coming to a regular sessions, forming friendships with each other and enjoying different experiences,” Mel explains.

“Parents and carers enjoy time to chat to each other, share their experiences, discuss concerns and many have made friendships and meet outside of the group. They enjoy taking part in activities with their children which then provide ideas for at home as well as making memories in the moment.”

Ellison (pictured above) and his mum Olivia first came to Sunshine Group to meet other children and families who were living lives like theirs.

They had been sheltering at home during lockdown and were feeling quite isolated. After coming to Hope House they have both made lots of friends.

Olivia says: “Ellison feels comfortable here which helps me to relax too. We’ve just had a really bad fortnight so being able to talk about that with people who really understand is so helpful. Ellison loves the pool too – we call it his spa day because it helps him to relax for the rest of the day.”

Noah visited the Sunshine Group while he was staying for respite care at Hope House. He also got the opportunity to swim for the first time, along with his mum Lucy and baby brother Chester.

“Noah has a rare muscle condition and you could see that he loved being in the water – we all did and it felt so special. We love coming here because it feels so comfortable and the care staff are really welcoming and feel like friends,” Lucy says.

Halli-Rose comes to the Sunshine Group regularly with mum Georgia and dad Jordan.

Georgia says: “Coming here is amazing because everyone is used to seeing and being with children with complex conditions so we are comfortable and can relax. We’ve also bought Halli-Rose’s older sister to the Sunshine Group to help her understand that there are other children who are different too.”

Axel and his mum Rhiannon have been coming since he was born. Axel has already had heart surgery and is currently waiting for a second operation.

Rhiannon says: “At some baby groups you can feel a bit judged that your baby isn’t capable of doing what other babies are. Here everyone is so understanding and so supportive of each child’s own special milestones – they might seem tiny to some people but here we all understand and celebrate together. This group has given us all so much confidence to be ourselves.”

Esmay and her mum Kim have been coming to Sunshine Group since it started two years ago. It is now an important part of their lives and something they look forward to every Wednesday.

Kim says: “As soon as we come through the gate Esmay gets all excited in her car seat. It’s a lifeline coming here every week and speaking to the staff and other parents who really understand your situation. They don’t stare and they don’t judge your child like sometimes happens in the outside world.”

Like all the care we provide, the Sunshine Group only happens because of your support. Please help us to plan for the future and continue to be here for children like Ellison, Noah, Halli-Rose, Axel, Esmay and Luke by taking part in our Summer Sunshine Raffle or donating to our Sunshine Appeal.