Haven House Project in Sheffield received a cheque for £10,084 from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s 2015/16 Grant Funding Scheme.
Dr Alan Billings visited the project on Monday, 5 October to hear how they work with young people affected by domestic abuse. The funding will provide a safe space for after-school sessions for homeless children and young people aged between three and 16 years, living in refuges in Sheffield.
He said: “Unfortunately when dealing with domestic abuse in families, it is often the children that get forgotten. They often witness some harrowing situations that have the potential to stay with them through life.
“The Haven House Project helps these young people to see that they are not alone in their suffering and ensures there are support services available to help them. I wish them well in their work and hope they continue to be very successful.”
Haven House links with primary and secondary school staff to raise awareness of the effects of domestic abuse on children, to provide web-based resources and to enhance their understanding of the prevalence and effects of abuse at home.
Jo Rudd from the Haven House Project said: “The course and after school sessions will help children develop skills and abilities vital for their future. In an informal setting they gain a better understanding of healthy and unhealthy relationships that will help them discover their own ways to improve their personal safety, self-esteem and emotional wellbeing.”
Haven House Project has been active in Sheffield since 1975, delivering refuge and supporting services for women and children who have suffered domestic violence.
From April 2014 the three refuges in Sheffield merged to form Sheffield Area Refuge and Support (SARAS) to deliver the Sheffield City Council contract for women’s refuge services. Haven House delivers essential activities which meet the wider needs of children and young people experiencing domestic abuse, but which now fall outside of the scope of the Council contract. This has led Haven House to take the decision to continue as an independent organisation, working closely with the newly merged refuges and focusing on the delivery of specialist domestic abuse outreach services to improve the lives of children and young people who have fled domestic abuse in South Yorkshire.
The funding will contribute to reducing the vulnerability of child-witnesses, both in school, families’ homes and in refuges, by providing a supportive environment in which to explore and share experiences to promote their personal, social, and academic successes.
By offering training and resources to school professionals Haven House aim to increase the number of adults able to recognise the effects of abuse, find the appropriate support and provide an effective response to possible future threats.
For more information on the Haven House Project see http://havenhouseproject.org.uk/