Day Dream School Holiday Program

Celebrating the school holidays with Special Siblings in Ronald McDonald House

The Day Dream Program is a new school holiday program developed for young carers – young people who are put into the position of caring for their brother or sister with a serious illness or disability. These incredible young people spend many hours and/or days accompanying their sibling who is sick in hospital or attending doctors appointments often over the school holidays.

The Day Dream Program will put focus on the ‘well child’ in the hospital and remove the added stress on the parents and other family members during the school holidays.

Workshops will include mindfulness, arts and crafts, exercise, dance, drama and music; run by volunteers with help from high profile facilitators including sports players, musicians, entertainers and actors. There will be up to 30 places in the program each day, with snacks included.

The impact

IMMEDIATE IMPACT FOR PARENTS

  • I will be able to feel like I am looking after both my kids rather than feeling guilty for giving all my attention to my unwell child
  • I often don’t have anywhere to send my daughter while my son is sick so this gives her something to do instead of just sitting by the hospital bed all day
  • I would love my son to meet other siblings in the hospital because it would be great for him to know there are other kids like him too.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT FOR YOUNG CARERS

  • I would love to meet other kids that are in the hospital like me looking after their brother.
  • I don’t understand why I feel angry that my sister is in hospital all the time. I really want someone to help me.
  • I really want something to do during the school holidays rather than just sitting in the hospital all the time.
  • It’s not fair that my brother is getting all the attention. What about me?

LONG-TERM IMPACT FOR YOUNG CARERS

  • Young Carers are empowered to believe in themselves and accept challenges head on.
  • Young Carers understand their situation and are able to verbalise and express themselves effectively.
  • Young Carers’ social, emotional and physical wellbeing is improved through social connectedness.

How does it work?

Over the course of the two week school holiday program, activities will be run with Young Carers being given opportunities to express and explore in a fun, non-threatening space through a range of different mediums and modalities.

Some themes explored throughout the program include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Self esteem
  • Resilience
  • Music and movement
  • Creativity
  • Health and wellbeing