CHILDREN who have experienced domestic abuse in Surrey will be offered an educational and therapy-based Children’s Outreach Service, thanks to a grant of £60,000 to the Your Sanctuary charity from Surrey Freemasons.
Around 30 children and young people will receive one-to-one counselling sessions, with 20 children and young people in group work and a further 140 young people participating in Healthy Relationship workshops.
The service will also fund an experienced Youth Engagement and Wellbeing Worker (YEW) to focus on children’s confidence and resilience, helping them work through their experiences, break a continuing cycle of domestic abuse, and protect them from future domestic abuse.
The Children’s Outreach Service will deliver prevention-focused workshops in settings like schools and colleges, which will make children aware of signs of abuse as well as empower them to invest in healthy relationships in the future.
The impact that this programme will have is long-term-focused; the YEW will aim to improve the children’s understanding of respectful relationships, where to find help, how to stay safe, how to progress at school, as well as generally improving their mental health and wellbeing.
In addition to these support services, the YEW will also encourage and train around 15 of the young people who engage in the programme to become ‘ambassadors’ to offer peer support and mentoring.
There is an average of 13 children’s social care assessments a day in Surrey, or 4,671 annually, which include domestic violence. These typically bring about responses of anger, guilt, insecurity, loneliness, fear, disempowerment, or confusion in affected children.
The grant from Surrey Freemasons comes via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Fiamma Pather, CEO at Your Sanctuary, said:
“We’re incredibly grateful to Surrey Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to deliver our Children’s Outreach Service programme and equip young people with the resilience and confidence to make positive relationship choices for their futures, despite their past experiences with domestic abuse.”
Ian Chandler, Head of Surrey Freemasons, added:
“I’m so pleased we’ve been able to help Your Sanctuary through the Children’s Outreach Service project. Domestic abuse can have profound effects on a child, and this programme will offer support to children experiencing trauma and steer them away from future danger. I am proud that Surrey Freemasons can support a programme in our community that responds to such important needs.”