19th Aug, 2017

Charity launches service to support young victims of abuse through 'art and play'

Laura Kearns 24th May, 2017 Updated: 24th May, 2017

SUPPORT services for children as young as five are being launched by sexual abuse charity Safeline.

The Warwick-based charity is launching a new service where trained counsellors will support youngsters using therapeutic play and art therapy.

To create space for the service Safeline chief executive Neil Henderson gave up his office – which has now been turned into the ‘Acorn Room’.

And the charity say the service is much needed, as some one in ten young adults report experiencing sexual abuse during their childhood.

Safeline say until now there have been few services to support them.

Head of Clinical Services Liz Welsh told the Observer: “The Children and Young People’s Service at Safeline provides that all important ‘tailored’ support for children as young as five.

“The new ‘Acorn Therapy Room’ designed with children in mind is the perfect safe, peaceful, dedicated space in a child’s often chaotic life where they can express themselves through creative play and art. They can start to make sense of what’s happened to them and they are enabled to get on with their lives.

“Many adults have told us they wished they had had help when they were young and then they wouldn’t have had to carry around such a ‘dark secret’ all their lives, one which has affected so many aspects of their lives and relationships.

“Many adults will benefit from using the Acorn Room too because working creatively with a trained therapist allows them to get in touch with the young part of themselves.”

A number of local groups and individuals got involved to support the project.

Charity Evelyn’s Gift helped to buy furniture and therapeutic toys for the room while local decorator Martin Herrod painted the room for free.

And knitters from Leamington also got involved by creating comfort blankets for the children.

Visit www.safeline.org.uk to find out more.

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