A programme supporting youngsters affected by domestic abuse has been rolled out across the region after being hailed a success.
The Safe Hands scheme run by Impact Family Services aims to encourage youngsters to talk about their situation.
Art is also used to give them an opportunity to express their emotions with images added to the safe hands tree of life - which shows how many other children are in their situation too.
To date, 35 youngsters aged between five and 11, who have been affected by living in a household where there has been domestic abuse, have been helped by the scheme.
The project is now being rolled out across the region after being hailed a success and securing additional funding.
Hazel Hedley, CEO of Impact Family Services said: “The aim of these programs is protection and safeguarding. Our trained professionals create a culture of safe working practice. Whilst they sound quite chilled, with artwork and team bonding, the children always know they have somwehere to turn and with our reporting system, they are in a safer place.
They have witnessesd domestic abuse and violence but they can see a safer and brighter future.Hazel Hedley
“They have witnessed domestic abuse and violence but they can see a safer and brighter future. Through services for men, women and children we are tackling the issue of Domestic Violence to improve life for the whole family affected.”
The project is one of a number offered by Impact Family Services to support families affected by domestic abuse.
On average 3,000 families access the charity’s services - some which are funded and others which are kept going through donations and grants.
Impact Family Services has launched its Creating a Home campaign - which aims to raise £8,000 to ensure the service keeps going.
The Creating A Home project was launched two years ago.
It costs £8,000 a year to run and relies on donations of cash and good quality second hand furniture.
The scheme helps to give those who escape their abusive partners the chance to start a new life and create a safe home for them and their children.
With funds raised from the 16-day campaign, the charity will be able to buy essential household furniture including white goods, pay for emergency accommodation and provide funds for essential removal costs.
To donate visit www.mydonate.bt.com/charities/impactfamilyservices or visit www.impactfs.co.uk and use the donate button.
Anyone suffering domestic abuse at the hands of their partners or family members can seek help:
Options (Impact Family Services): For women who are suffering domestic abuse - 0191 456 7577. Out of hours 07921 395508 or 07545 08671.
Mens Advice Line: For men who are suffering domestic abuse - 0808 801 0327.
Northumbria Police Choice Helpline: For those suffering honour based violence - 0800 5999 365
Broken Rainbow - Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are victims of domestic abuse - 0300 999 5428
Young Person Violence Advisor - for those aged 13-17 who are in an abusive relationship - 0191 427 2850.
Apna Ghar - for women from the ethnic minority suffering from domestic abuse - 0191 456 4147.