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Family weekends

Family weekend

Children’s Burns Trust have been providing a family residential weekend since 2005, supported by staff from the NHS burn services who attend the weekends which are held at one of the Firefighters Charity rehabilitation centres.

Family weekends offer an opportunity for children with burn injuries and their parents/carers and siblings to spend some fun time together whilst also meeting others who have experienced the impact of a burn injury to their lives.  Many parents experience a terrible sense of guilt surrounding the circumstances of their child’s accident. This family programme enables them to discuss issues surrounding the child’s burn openly with people who understand the emotions that they are experiencing.  The effects of a burn injury on siblings is all too easily forgotten and including them in the weekend experience can help them come to terms with the changes that might have occurred in family life following a burn injury.

Six families are invited to attend a residential weekend where the emphasis is on each family having the opportunity to spend time together, whilst also meeting other families who have been through a similar experience. The children and the parents are supported by burn care professionals from the burns service where they received care, which might include a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, nurse, play specialist or member of psychological therapies.

The programme includes a number of workshops for the parents; managing the impact of the burn injury on the whole family, burn scarring and treatment options as well as some relaxation strategies. The children’s programme includes arts and crafts, swimming and free play. In addition, the weekend is structured to offer the families time to spend getting to know one another and also have some fun. The weekends begin with an excursion to a local farm and adventure play area, and on the Saturday evening the parents have a special dinner with time to relax and chat whilst the children are looked after by the staff and entertained by a local entertainer.

An independent evaluation of the family weekends conducted by the Centre for Appearance Research in 2022 concluded that the family weekends represented a positive and valuable experience for the families and the staff that attended, emphasising the value of shared experiences and meeting others at different stages of their recovery after a burn injury.

With special thanks to the Firefighters Charity and the staff at their rehabilitation centres and to all the NHS burn care staff who attend the weekends– without their support the family weekends would not be possible.

Family weekend

Would you recommend the family weekend to others?

Quotes from parents that attended the family weekend.

“It’s hard to describe the experience we had other than magical and special. Relaxing and fun and just brilliant.”

“It helps you realise that you are not in that situation alone”

“Help with feeling better, knowing more and a fun place to be for a weekend.”

“Yes. For them to be able to see other children and parents and their stories is really important to realise how accidents do happen and how to deal and cope with this roller coaster.”

“The full weekend was packed full of different things and suited all ages. All the kids were brilliant, and all families got on and interacted with each other”

“It gave me special time to come more to terms with what has happened in a very supported and caring environment.”

Our recent family weekends

Penrith Family Weekend 2023

Penrith Family Weekend – April 2023

The first family weekend of 2023 welcomed parents, children and staff to Jubilee House, the fabulous Firefighters Charity rehabilitation centre in Penrith, Cumbria. Staff and families from across the Northern Burn Care Services of Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester and Wakefield came together for a packed programme.
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Family weekend

Guest blog: Family weekend through a parent’s eyes – we hear from the Olcay family

We invited one of the parents who attended a Children’s Burns Trust Family Weekend last year to explain what their family felt about joining in order to inform others about what to expect from attending.
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Family Weekend with the Northern Burn Care Services

In November 2022, after an early morning start and a blustery journey to Walby Farm near Carlisle, six families from across the Northern Burn Care services joined 12 staff for another fun-packed family weekend.
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A burn injury is for life

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