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ss triple helix - winter 2023,  when dreams change

when dreams change

Jennie Prentice shares about a Christian ministry offering support and therapy to families caring for children with special needs

We all have hopes and dreams for our children. Sometimes these turn out as we expect them to, but other times they don't, and we might be left feeling disappointed or surprised. For parents of children with additional needs, which might include learning and physical disabilities, mental health or undiagnosed needs impacting every day life, this can be particularly difficult.

At Growing Hope we bring hope to children through the provision of free therapy services. We grow hope for families where hope has been lost due to isolation or rejection and we share hope in Jesus because we believe he brings hope even in the most difficult situations.

support groupSome 620,000 parents and carers care for children and young people with additional needs across the UK.¹ We know that these parents and carers often experience elevated levels of stress, depression and anxiety.²

Our When Dreams Changecourse is a four-week course that helps parents to reflect on their experience. We support parents to be the person they've been created to be and anyone can attend, regardless of their background or beliefs. Parents learn to fill their own cup before they give to their child, how to draw upon a support network and how to ask for help.

'I loved the chance we got to dream at the end. Exploring the possibility of raising our heads above the trenches and dreaming again…No one ever really gives the space for this….I loved that!'
Parent attendee of When Dreams Change

supporting siblings

In 2022 the Disabled Children's Partnership found that 46 per cent of disabled children's siblings are socially isolated³ and research suggests that intervention can improve sibling wellbeing. [4]siblings

Our Siblings Group offers hope to children who may not otherwise have a chance to process their experience. The seven-week group is counselling based and gives the opportunity to process feelings and connect with other siblings. We give children tools to help them keep processing their feelings outside of the group.

how can I find out more?

Our When Dreams Change and Siblings Group courses are run in churches and communities across the UK. We train individuals to become course facilitators, providing all the resources needed so that courses can run in any local community.

If you or someone you know might be interested in attending our courses or training to become a facilitator, you can find out more at or or by contacting

1: Caring More than Most: a profile of UK families caring for disabled children. Contact, December 2017.

2: Rao A and Beidel D. The Impact of Children with High-Functioning Autism on Parental Stress, Sibling Adjustment, and Family. Behavior Modification, 2009:.33(4);437-451.

3: Left Behind - Six Months on. Disabled Children's Partnership, 2022.

4: Noonan, H, O'Donoghue, I, Wilson, C. Engaging with and navigating limbo: Lived experiences of siblings of adults with autism spectrum disorders. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2018 Nov;31(6):1144-1153. doi:10.1111/jar.12474

Christian Medical Fellowship:
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