Clare has been a part of our Candlelighters family for just over seven years. Here’s her story and how Candlelighters are still supporting Clare and her family throughout the pandemic.

“I’m Mummy to Neve and Belle, twin girls born in November 2012. In May 2013 both my girls were diagnosed with Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and were admitted to Leeds Children’s Hospital on the 5th May 2013. We were introduced to Candlelighters the very next day in the hospital.

We have a son called Hiro who is now 12 years old. Hiro suffers from mild asthma, so we went into lockdown a week before we got told to by the Government. Hiro suffers terribly when his routine is changed and we were impacted immediately. Having us all at home became a challenge especially homeschooling and taking time for self-care.

Gratefully, I started doing evening yoga and having 1:1 virtual wellbeing sessions with Charlotte, a therapist at Candlelighters. I started these around week six of lockdown after I was beginning to feel burnt out and stressed. I initially started the virtual evening yoga with Caroline, another therapist at Candlelighters and then after a week or so, I also had virtual 1:1 wellbeing sessions.

The yoga was, and still is helping me to feel calm, especially as the session is early evening. This helps me with a nice relaxing sleep afterwards instead of going to bed tense. The 1:1 wellbeing sessions have enabled me to focus just on me and take time out of my day to just give myself a much-needed boost.

The breathing exercises I have learnt from Charlotte are really helping me to feel grounded and less stressed. I have thoroughly enjoyed the self-massage techniques that I have learnt. This has enabled me to use these on days that I need to take time for myself, especially when I’m feeling tight in my muscles and worn out.

Our family usually accesses the massage therapy sessions at The Square. This alternative of virtual support has been very welcome and has had a positive outcome on my wellbeing.

I’m a little anxious around the easing of lockdown, but I know that we all crave a sense of normality during these exceptional times. I’m looking forward to being able to come back into The Square once the go-ahead is given, but I’m certainly being looked after in the meantime and appreciate the fantastic virtual sessions that have been provided.

You are super special in every way!”

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