What we do
We offer the chance to recover from trauma
In our experience, children and young people don’t always talk about what is troubling them and they may be adult before they realise they need to confront difficult feelings. This is why our interventions are arts based, sometimes in groups and sometimes in individual sessions, to assist with this process.
The school based programmes usually last for a whole term. We also offer individual sessions to families in need. We receive funding from both statutory services and grant making trusts and foundations according to the type of programme. We acknowledge financial assistance from schools in the London Boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon, and for the continuing support of the Patrick Frost Foundation.
Play, Sing and Move - Programmes for babies and young children
Play Sing and Move, our early years’ programme, is designed to help parents and children and takes place in the community and early years’ settings. We offer group sessions for children and their families who need to gain confidence and build resilience through singing, stories and musical games. Activities are designed around the needs of the children, encourage sharing and turn taking and enhance the attachment and attunement between the child and their parent or carer. These programmes last between five and 10 weeks and can be requested by statutory services, voluntary organisations or community groups.
In the last three years, a similar programme for children aged 4 to 7 has been developed for use in Key Stage 1, particularly reception classes. Our research shows that this programme, with small groups of pupils, can help vulnerable children to settle into school and manage challenging life events. Play Sing and Move - Report on the Development of Therapeutic Group Work with Foundation Stage pupils in Ealing 2016 Beddall-Smith & Kealing
“The significance of ‘sensitive windows’
During the first three years of life there are sensitive windows of time when specific learning takes place and the brain hones particular skills or functions [......] Attunement takes place when the parent and child are emotionally functioning in tune with each other and where the child’s emotional needs for love, acceptance and security are met. Without satisfactory early attunement to the primary care giver, the development of empathy can be greatly impaired.”
Allen, G & Duncan Smith, I (2008). Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens. London: Centre for Social Justice & Smith Institute.
Therapeutic arts programmes for school age children
Individual arts psychotherapy sessions are offered for children and young people who have been through a period of difficulties, trauma or bereavement. These sessions usually take place in schools and are arranged through the pastoral and safeguarding staff.
Sometimes, it is appropriate to offer group therapeutic programmes to meet specific needs. Our workshops aren't about skill in any particular art form. They are a safe space for children and young people to open up and express their thoughts and feelings in new ways. For children over 7, we have Drawing Drums and Drama which is led by fully qualified dramatherapists and musicians.
Drawing, Drums and Drama
These can be art, music and drama workshops for small groups, designed to encourage participation and build confidence through art, story making, poetry and music for those who:
- may be grieving over a death in the family, experiencing loss or isolation
- may have a parent or sibling with mental ill health
- have recently arrived in UK, sometimes from war zones
- have experienced domestic abuse or criminal activity in the family
- are in danger of exploitation, drug and other abuses
- are living with relatives and coming to terms with past family histories
"Sharing these activities in an environment where no demands are made on them gives [young people] the chance to learn about each other in new ways."
Case, C. and Dalley, T. (2007) Art Therapy with Children: from Infancy to Adolescence. Routledge