More than a hundred local children who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse and violence will receive specialist support thanks to a grant of £60,000 from South Wales Freemasons.
The children face multiple challenges which can include; poor sleep patterns and concentration, hyper vigilance, high levels of anxiety, poor family relationships, erratic or poor school attendance and attainment, self-harm and suicidal thoughts and aggressive and controlling behaviour.
The Comets & Rockets project offers support to children to learn about safety planning, identification of safe people within their support network, methods of positive communication, recognising and understanding feelings and emotions and what constitutes a healthy relationship. Play therapy may also be offered which uses a variety of play and creative art techniques to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions. Support and training of parents and caregivers is an essential element of the service, which aims to improve understanding of the impact that domestic abuse has on children.
The grant from South Wales Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Julie Beck, Deputy CEO at Safer Merthyr Tydfil, said:
“We’re very grateful to South Wales Freemasons for their generous grant that will allow us to continue helping children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse and violence. The effects can range from an inability to form relationships and poor sleep patterns to a disrupted education. Getting them the support they need is absolutely vital.”
Robert Payne from South Wales Freemasons, said:
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Safer Merthyr Tydfil with their hugely important programme to reach children and young people affected by domestic abuse. Damaged relationships and a poor performance at school will have life-long effects both on the children themselves and on the next generation.”