Siblings Network news and events


"It was good to be with other children that know how my life is and how I feel."

The siblings weekend is an annual event especially for members of the Siblings Network. The weekend is packed full of fun activities and gives members the opportunity to meet up and share experiences.

2014 siblings weekend - 20 to 22 June, Liddington PGL adventure activity centre

The action kicked off on Friday night with some get to know you games, arts and crafts and parachute football! After the siblings had some food and made some creative signs for their dorm room doors there was a choice of films, In Time’ for the older siblings, and Frozen for the younger ones (and the big kids!) After the sing along to Frozen and lots of snacks, the siblings were ready for bed and the exciting activities of the next day.

Two young girls being given an archery lesson at the Sense siblings weekend 2014Awoken by a chorus of hungry stomachs, Sense volunteers, leaders and siblings were early for breakfast! And eager to get started on the days activities. In the morning the siblings were shooting down targets in the archery sessions and bravely jumping off Zip wires! After a few spectacular bulls eyes and superman jumps it was time for lunch and a well earned cup of tea for the leaders and volunteers.

The next round of activities saw the siblings canoeing on an open lake and challenging their limits with the vertical challenge climb. With only a few splashes and one capsize the open canoeing was a dry activity, but with the glorious sunshine and very warm lake it would have been rude of the siblings not to have taken a dip in the murky green waters! It was so much fun that most people didn’t want to get out!

Vertical challenge was a tricky activity to master with siblings climbing up rope ladders, car tires, climbing walls and fishing nets to reach the very top of the 20 foot structure. Many of the more spider-like sibs managed the challenge and everyone pushed themselves to achieve a bit more than they thought they would!

After a shower and some tea, it was time for the group to split into two, with some attending PGL’s very own disco and others venturing into Swindon. The disco got off to a very loud start and after some dancing, spinning and even a turn or two on the stage, the siblings retired to watch King Kong and indulge in yet more snacks!

In Swindon the rest of the group were trying their aim at laser quest and bowling while playing some arcade games – the two groups met back up at the end of the night to watch the final moments of King Kong.

Not slowed down by the previous day’s activities, the siblings were up and ready for breakfast and a morning of adventurous activities. We started out with the giant swing, working as a team to hoist two people up as high as they could go, before releasing them for the ultimate swinging sensation.

After we had all come back down to earth it was off to the trapeze challenge where siblings climbed up a pole and launched themselves off a podium to reach a trapeze suspended in the air. All of the siblings worked really hard to challenge themselves and encourage others to succeed in their own goals!

After lunch and some more arts and crafts it was time to say goodbye to each other, meet back up with everyone’s families and start planning for next years siblings weekend!

Previous events

Sibling adventures - the 2012 weekend away

George and Elly tackle the obstacle course

The last siblings weekend took place in February 2012 at PGL Caythorpe Court activity centre in Grantham, where 31 young people aged from 6 to 17 years came together to make new friends and have a great time.

The shenanigans began on the Friday evening with dinner, followed by some very loud and raucous get-to-know-you games. Siblings then chose between a game of football, getting creative with mosaics, or popcorn and a movie.

After a busy evening, to wake us all up the next day PGL had loads of activities planned, including a high giant swing, a testing challenge course, tricky problem-solving games and, very bravely executed in February temperatures, raft building.

After such a busy and adventurous day, Saturday evening saw the older siblings, keen on an adrenaline rush, go-karting offsite. Inspired by Top Gear"s the Stig they raced one another around the course in a bid for the fastest lap. To top the evening off they finished with dinner and bowling.

Ira braves the high ropes

Meanwhile, the younger siblings played party games at a disco and then took on The Cube in PGL's own version of the ITV show.

On Sunday morning there was time to squeeze in more action in the form of a sensory trail (yes, in blindfolds), where the siblings experienced how it must feel to navigate themselves with touch, plus aeroball, and the appropriately named high ropes.

"That was epic," said six year-old Freddie as he descended more than 40 steps from the high ropes course.

Everyone was tired out by the end of such a busy weekend but we all left with many happy memories - and a bunch of new friends!

Here's what members said about the weekend:

"The activities were really fun."

"I made lots of friends."

"The giant swing was awesome."

"It was good to be with other children that know how my life is and how I feel."

"It was a fabulous experience."

"I want to do it again!"

"I had a great time."

"The giant swing was brilliant."

The 2011 siblings weekend

Elly and volunteer Bryony getting creativeA weekend away for Sense siblings!

The Sense siblings weekend away is a highlight of anyone's calendar, and this year proved no exception. A record breaking 24 siblings came together and experienced daredevil activities, with lots of socialising and laughter. There was also enthusiastic singing and dancing - and even a spot of spontaneous fundraising!

The activity-packed weekend included zip wire, archery, abseiling, aeroball, fencing and climbing. In among all this action we still managed to squeeze in a trip to the tuck shop, a disco, a quiz night and a cinema session, too!

"It was great to be able to be adventurous and try new things," one sibling said.

After some serious Saturday night dancing (Dylan, you are a pop star in the making!) and while older siblings watched movies, the younger ones tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit and ran a sweet sale. A total of £8.10 was collected and generously donated to Sense by the under 8s. The Sense fundraising team were very grateful and wrote a thank-you note to the siblings involved.

Dylan fearlessly tackling the zip wireThe siblings also had a massive brainstorm about their Network and in particular, their magazine. Some fantastic ideas were shared, many of which you can see in the Network newsletter.

"[It was] a superb weekend at PGL. I really enjoyed it, especially the zip wire and aeroball (although the fact that I was on the winning teams helped!). It was good that everyone there had something common, and it was great to meet up with old friends and make some new ones too," said another sibling.

The weekend was fantastic fun and packed full of adventure and opportunities to try new things. There was a great mix of people, and old friends were reunited and new ones made.

Roll on next year!

What members had to say about their time at PGL:

"I met some brilliant people and had fun."

"I found it quite nice to talk about my sibling and my problems and they understood."

"The activities were very fun."

First published: Wednesday 27 June 2012
Updated: Friday 15 August 2014