A therapieutic art group launched by Camp Simcha for siblings of seriously ill children is making a big difference to youngsters who are often the ‘forgotten sufferers’.

Head of Services at Camp Simcha, Daniel Gillis, explains: ‘When a child is ill, their parents’ time and focus understandably and unavoidably has to shift to them, in order to meet that child’s medical needs and hospital stays and appointments.

‘At Camp Simcha, we have long recognised the impact this has on siblings and for this reason, our services have always catered to the whole family. This new Siblings Art Group is a chance for them to get out of the house and meet other children in their situation, while enjoying special time which is just for them. It’s been really well-received.’

The children come along with to the art room at The House, Camp Simcha’s head office, for sessions with two of the charity’s art teachers.

One sibling who attends, Leah Greenberg, 11, is the oldest of five children, two of whom have gastrointestinal conditions, one a particularly serious allergic gut condition, resulting in frequent hospital stays and a very complicated ‘at home’ care regime.

Her mum Miriam says: ‘Leah absolutely loves the art group. It is the highlight of her week when she goes. Our life at home is very busy and this is something just for Leah. She’s also really enjoyed having the chance to make new friends.’