Mum-of-two Steph sent her daughter on the SSAFA Siblings and Young Carers Short Break for the first time in 2015.
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“We are the Eustace family; I'm Steph and currently a full time carer to Harvey, studying for my Special Educational Needs advanced diploma. My husband Mark has been serving in the RAF for 10 years as an Aircraft Technician at RAF Coningsby. We have a daughter Felicity, nine, and son Harvey, six. Harvey has autism, ADHD and epilepsy; he was diagnosed when he was 3-and-a-half years old. Harvey struggles with his behaviour, having violent outbursts, which are sometimes directed at Felicity and myself. Felicity is amazing with Harvey; she sees only the best in him, even when he's having a really bad day.
“Last year we heard about the SSAFA Siblings Breaks from our local SSAFA branch. I looked into it and thought what an amazing opportunity it would be for Felicity to have a break, make some friends who are in the same boat, and have fun. I am so glad I filled the forms in now as Felicity enjoyed it so much. The activities were amazing and Felicity especially enjoyed the abseiling. She was very scared but with some encouragement, she did it and she is so proud of herself for doing it, and so are we. Her short break has given her lots of confidence, independence and a series of stories she loves to tell about her adventures. The volunteers were absolutely amazing and really supported her.
“Whilst she was away we were able to have quality one-to-one time with Harvey, but it also gave everybody a long overdue break from the difficulties that we face with bringing up a special needs child. As a result, upon Felicity's return, everybody felt refreshed. We loved going to pick her up and seeing how happy she was and seeing all she had accomplished. She can't wait to fill out the forms for next year’s short break.”
To find out more about SSAFA Short Breaks, including upcoming dates and further information, get in touch here.