Adult sibling Facebook group
Are you an adult who has grown up with a disabled brother or sister? Would you like to chat with others who just ‘get’ what life as a sibling is like? You’re not alone. Join #Siblife today.
It’s a private Facebook group, run by Sibs trained volunteer administrators.
“Fabulous resource and source of support and only wish I had known about Sibs a lot earlier” – Siblife member, Sept 2023
Who can join #Siblife?
To join the group you need to:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Currently live in the UK
- Have (or had) a brother or sister who has a lifelong disability from birth*
- Enjoy chatting with others!
Some siblings who join the group are carers for their brother/sister, and many aren’t. Some siblings who join are bereaved. You are very welcome, whatever your circumstances or level of involvement (or not) with your brother/sister’s care.
*Types of lifelong disabilities from birth might include: spina bifida, cerebral palsy, mild/moderate/severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities. These can range from Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, Dravet syndrome, Apert syndrome, Syndromes Without A Name (SWAN), genetic disorders, Cri-du-chat syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), to other life-limiting conditions and other lifelong physical or learning disabilities from birth.
Why join #Siblife?
Being a sibling can be a complex and challenging experience. Whilst we can’t remove all of the stressors in an adult sibling’s life, we can give siblings more resources to cope.
The aims of the group are to:
- Reduce isolation
- Improve wellbeing and resilience
- Share knowledge
We ask members and facilitators for regular feedback to make sure groups continue to meet siblings’ needs.
“I would just like to say thank you so much for running this Facebook group. I have amazing friends, but this group has made me feel far less isolated and supported in practical things as well as the emotional things we all go through as siblings.” – Siblife member
Who can’t join?
#Siblife is just for adult siblings of someone with a lifelong disability from birth (see list above). If you’re a sibling of someone with a severe mental illness, have a look at Rethink Mental Illness – support for siblings.
A sibling-only environment helps siblings to feel comfortable sharing their experiences with others who truly understand. No parents, partners, brothers/sisters, researchers or professionals will be admitted.
Please note, you must currently live in the UK to join #Siblife or any of our other support groups, as we are not funded to support siblings outside of the UK. If you’re looking for an alternative Facebook group, try Sibnet which hosts siblings from the US and globally.
What can I expect from #Siblife?
- A friendly team of trained volunteer administrators
- A sibling-only environment that’s safe, confidential and respectful of each member’s different circumstances
- Chat about sibling-related topics (read more in our eBook and guides)
- To share your experiences, tips, advice and information as a sibling and hear the same from others
- To give and receive emotional support and practical tips
- The chance to help the group grow, by spreading the word and by welcoming new members
“It’s become the biggest comfort to me to know that I have a group of experienced people I can reach out to at any time for advice or support when I need it. Especially at times of crisis. It is such a safe and supportive place and I value it so much.” – Siblife member
What doesn’t #Siblife include?
#Siblife is a friendly and informal peer group, where people give and receive emotional support.
- Administrators and other group members cannot offer you one-to-one support, formal therapy or counselling
- #Siblife does not provide mental health crisis support. If you are in mental health crisis, please contact your GP or NHS 111
- Have been through a recent trauma or personal crisis
- Are in the very raw stages of a traumatic bereavement
You may benefit more from counselling than from being part of this group, as other people’s posts may be triggering or difficult for you to be around. Read our advice on how to find a counsellor. Some siblings have counselling and are part of the group alongside this.
Who runs #Siblife?
#Siblife is run by our trained volunteer administrators, who are siblings themselves. They’re passionate about helping siblings to chat and support each other. Their role is to screen new members, moderate the conversation on the group and to help everyone in the group talk about sibling issues. The administrators are members of the group too, and they will give and receive peer support like anyone else.
What’s it like to be part of #Siblife?
Take a look at these comments from #Siblife group members:
“The group has helped me accept my often fractious relationship with my brother, and be more positive in response to him.”
“The group makes me feel visible and shows me that my experiences and feelings are understood by others.”
“I wish it had been around a long time ago. Its really helped me knowing someone understands and I mean really understands”
“The Facebook group is fantastic for helping to feel like I ‘belong’ somewhere. It’s nice to have a group of people who understand.”
“It’s been lovely to see the group grow from its small beginnings, and becoming a more active space of support and information for people. Even if I don’t interact with a post, reading about other people’s experiences makes me feel less alone and more informed.”
“It’s lovely to hear from other siblings and not feeling isolated.”
Do you have any questions? We’d love to hear from you – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to get started? You’ll be made very welcome!
I’d like to meet siblings outside of Facebook. Do you have other support groups?
Yes! We run groups across the UK that hold regular support group meetings over online video calls. Some also meet face-to-face. Find out more and sign up here.