SNUG (special needs unlimited group)

Retreats Connecting Families

The SNUG program provides retreats for families caring for a child with a rare health condition.

SNUG is coordinated through the Family Action Centre at The University of Newcastle and is funded by the Steve Waugh Foundation.

The retreats;

  • Aim to create a relaxed environment for families to build on their strengths and develop friendships with others in similar situations.
  • Are held 4 times every year in the Hunter area of NSW between September and May.
  • Accommodate approximately five families at a time.

The SNUG Program received an Honourable Mention at the 2011 Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Annual Award. This award recognises outstanding collaborations between universities and communities worldwide, which support and encourage community well-being

About SNUG

The retreats host families who have a child with a rare health condition at a residential camp in the Hunter area of NSW.

At the retreat, families can access Newcastle based specialist dental, neurological and other specialised medical care.

Each family is allocated a trained volunteer advocate from the Hunter for the week. The role of the advocate is to assist the families with daily activities, accompany them to medical visits, generally advocate for the families and ensure families understand the different aspects of the program as it unfolds.

Each child's local GP develops a care plan under the Enhanced Primary Care model to identify what appointments are needed in the Hunter during the retreat.  All facets of the program are overseen by the Program Co-ordinator.

The SNUG retreats have 4 x main annual goals;

  • Improved access to dental, medical and allied health services for 20 children with disabilities and/or rare diseases.
  • Create support networks for 20 families with a child with a disability and/or rare disease.
  • Improve the resilience of 20 families with a child with a rare disease and/or disability.
  • Educate 20 undergraduate students (volunteer advocates) in understanding the unique issues faced by families with children with special needs.