Partnership with Refuge Announced
The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children is delighted to announce an extension of its partnership with Refuge, the domestic violence charity. The Foundation has provided Refuge’s outreach community workers with mobile Bright Spaces to provide enriching play opportunities for children of all ages, when their mothers are accessing outreach services in their communities.
A top concern of Refuge is to ensure that, whenever possible, when an abused woman meets with her advocate to disclose or discuss the abuse, her children are not exposed to re-living the experience. Children are supported by a Child Support Worker, usually within sight of their mother. Resources are often needed to engage the children so that they can play and have fun, which gives their mothers the time and space to receive one-to-one support.
The Foundation’s Bright Space in a Bag resources provide age-appropriate toys, books, puzzles, games, art supplies and equipment for children to enjoy with their Support Workers. Ten crates of resources have been provided to Refuge’s Support Workers across London, with backpacks, so that resources can be selected to suit the ages of the children being supported during each visit. It is hoped that the programme can be rolled out to other domestic violence services throughout the UK, should the programme pilot with Refuge be successful. Pictured is the team of Bright Horizons Client Relations volunteers who created the packs, with Emma Derham of Refuge (right).
Refuge’s chief executive Sandra Horley CBE says: Refuge is incredibly grateful to the Bright Horizons Foundation for its wonderful support. With as many as one in five children in the UK witnessing and experiencing domestic violence, it is essential that children are given the support and resources they need to overcome their experiences of abuse. The Bright Space in a Bag kits supply our child support workers with age appropriate resources to use with the children with whom they work. Given many children who escape violence come to our services with no more than the clothes they are wearing, this thoughtful kind gesture means a great deal. Thank you. “