A cancer diagnosis has a huge impact on the whole family.

Siblings can often feel scared, worried, upset, angry, guilty, jealous and left out during this time and these feelings can have a lasting effect, even long after treatment has ended.

The Joshua Tree can offer support to siblings by providing services to help them express emotion and concern.

Sibling Support

1:1 Therapeutic Play sessions provide a sibling with the opportunity to meet with a member of the Family Support Team in a safe and comfortable place, may it be at school, home or in The Joshua Tree Support Centre. It is a time where we encourage free expression of emotions and concerns. Other opportunities for siblings in the programme include regular activities and events, monthly Saturday Sessions where the whole family is invited along, Play and Art Therapy sessions and 1:1 counselling. We can also support siblings in their school and provide the staff with advice and support regarding the long-lasting impact of childhood cancer.

Do you have a brother or sister who has had or has cancer?

You are not alone. Lots of young people who have a brother or sister going through treatment for cancer or that have been through treatment find it hard to talk about what's going on.

There can be some very big emotions that you may feel and sometimes find it hard to know who to talk to when your parents are so busy with a poorly child and everyone seems upset and worried.

At The Joshua Tree, a member of our Family Support Team can spend time with you so you don’t feel alone. You can ask them questions without worrying about upsetting them and talk about your feelings if you want to. If you feel this is something that can help you, please ask your parents or carers to talk to us about arranging a good time to talk.

“These guys are absolutely amazing, without their help and support we don’t know what we would do. The boys truly enjoy every moment, from 1:1 support at home, at the support centre and taking part in group play, all these sessions are fun and inventive, and the kids love it!”

Parent of child and sibling

“I felt left out because everything’s about my brother, then I felt guilty because I knew it wasn’t his fault. Spending time with my family support worker helped me talk about my feelings and worries!”