A South Tyneside charity is using art to help troubled children express their emotions.
The Safe Hands programme is delivered by the charity Impact Family Services, in South Tyneside.
So far, it has helped 35 children who have been affected by living in a household where there has been domestic abuse.
They have recently been encouraged to talk about their situation, and most recently they have been expressing themselves through art, creating pictures and adding into the safe hands tree of life, which shows them how many other children are in their situation too.
The programme is funded by the BIG Lottery, and most of the children’s mothers are in the charity’s Options Advocacy Service, which offers support and advice for women affected by domestic violence.
With funding secured from Northumbria Police, the partnership has now been rolled out to Sunderland, Newcastle and Northumberland too.
Our trained professionals create a culture of safe working practiceHazel Hedley
The funding has been received as part of a wider scheme for Impact Family Services to run domestic violence perpetrator programmes across the force’s area in conjunction with children’s charity Barnardo’s.
In the new areas, Safe Hands is working with children aged between five and 11 whose father figure has been referred to one of the partnership’s Domestic Violence Perpetrator programmes.
Through the partnership, the aim is to work towards the safety and protection of children and vulnerable adults.
Hazel Hedley, CEO of Impact, said: “The aim of these programmes 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 somewhere to turn and with our reporting system, they are in a safer place.
“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.”
More information is available by calling Impact Family Services on 0191 567 8282.