Children and Young People
The Service in the Refuge
Wycombe Women’s Aid has a dedicated children’s service which aims to meet the emotional, physical and educational needs of all the children living in the refuge. All of the children will have been affected by domestic violence and specially trained Child Development Workers will support the children throughout their stay.
Our overall aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment in which children can play, experience new activities, talk about their experiences of domestic violence, spend time with other children who have had similar experiences and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem. This is achieved through free play, structured activities, trips outside the refuge, After School Group, holiday play schemes and one-to-one sessions.
Wycombe Women’s Aid has a fully equipped Playroom and garden – this is a safe space that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. The Child Workers will help to arrange a school or nursery place as well as offering support and guidance on any aspect of a child’s welfare. Children living in the refuge are also able to access Helping Hands (see below).
Women’s Aid Federation England (WAFE) has an excellent website dedicated to children and young people. The website helps children and young people to understand domestic violence and how to take positive action if it is happening to them. The website can be found here: http://www.thehideout.org.uk/default.aspa
Wycombe Women’s Aid has a dedicated Youth Worker who works with young people (boys and girls) aged 11-17 years who are living either in the refuge or in the local community.
She works with young people who have experienced domestic violence at home, or in their own personal relationships, providing emotional support to enable them to reflect on and heal from their experiences of domestic violence and to make choices about their current and future options. She promotes the safety, health and well-being of young people, raising their awareness around their rights to feel safe and healthy relationships. The Youth Worker provides a safe environment for the young people to express their feelings and to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence.
The Youth Worker works closely with schools, through one to one support, assemblies and class awareness raising sessions with teachers and pupils, to ensure young people are able to make safe and informed choices within personal relationships and their home environment. The Youth Worker also helps to raise awareness of the nature and prevalence of domestic violence.
The Youth Worker can also deliver training to schools, other agencies and youth settings around domestic violence and young people and healthy relationships.
The Youth Service can be contacted by calling Maham (Youth Worker) on 07436 536400
A leaflet outlining the Youth Service can be found here:
If you are a young person living in the High Wycombe, Chiltern or South Bucks districts of Buckinghamshire and you would like to refer yourself to the Youth Service, please contact Maham on 07436 536400, use the Contact Us form to send us a message or complete the self-referral form below:
If you are not a young person, but you would like to refer a young person who lives in the High Wycombe, Chiltern or South Bucks districts of Buckinghamshire to the Youth Service, or you would like to find out more about the training that can be delivered, please contact Maham on 07436 536400, use the Contact Us form to send us a message or complete the referral form below:
In the Local Community
You & Me, Mum
You & Me, Mum is a 10 week group work programme which aims to support women around understanding how domestic violence can impact on their relationships and parenting of their children. There are no sessions during school holidays. The group is open to any woman who has children and there will be a maximum of 8 women per group.
The group takes place on Tuesday mornings between 10.00am and 12.00 noon at a venue in High Wycombe. The aim of the programme is ‘to provide a ten week self help programme which will empower, support and develop further understanding of your role as mothers, in addressing the needs of children and young people who have lived with domestic violence’. The objectives of the programme are:
- to understand how domestic violence affects you as a parent
- to understand the effects of domestic violence on children and young people
- to develop effective communication skills with children and young people
- to promote healthy and non-violent relationships
- to explore key protective behaviours messages and strategies for keeping mothers, children and young people safe
The next group is starting after Easter 2018 and will be facilitated by a Wycombe Women’s Aid IDVA/Outreach Worker and a Wycombe Women’s Aid Child Development Worker. For more information please contact Alison (IDVA/Outreach Worker) on 07436 536600.
“I feel I have become more confident. I haven’t spoken in detail about my past until this course. I feel a box in my brain has been set free. I have cut my hair off and I’m happy I have gained more confidence. I feel like the old me is returning. F is now on the waiting list for CAMHS as she is allowed a buddy. I have learnt to stay calm with her. I understand what she is thinking. I have learnt that I didn’t do anything wrong and that none of this was my fault”
Helping Hands is a six week programme for children in the community who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence and who are now living in safe and settled accommodation away from the perpetrator. The primary purpose of Helping Hands is:
‘To increase children’s understanding of feeling safe and to explore and promote behaviours which will contribute to a safe environment’
Running at the same time will be a support group for the mothers to ensure that they are another source of support for their children and also enable them to deal with any issues that may arise from the process.
A downloadable leaflet is available here: Helping Hands leaflet
Referrals for the Helping Hands Programme can be made at any time.
Please contact Tracy (Child Development Worker) on 01494 461367 for a referral form.
“I came to a standstill in November 2015 and enrolled with Helping Hands. I wasn’t keen, but it changed my life to help me understand what and why and how DV affected us as a family. I am very grateful to WWA”
“I understand more about F’s behaviour and his behaviour has definitely changed which is good. The Helping Hands programme was really good – everything I have to say about it is good and thank you”
Three Wycombe Women’s Aid workers facilitate the programme – two Child Development Workers and a Youth Worker. Two workers work with the children and one worker works with the mothers.
The age range for Helping Hands is 5 – 11 years (Reception – Year 6). The six week programme will be held on a Tuesday and each session will start at 4.00 p.m. and finish at 5.00 p.m. The venue is in High Wycombe and transport may be provided if needed.
Wycombe Women's Aid P.O. Box 1477 High Wycombe Bucks HP11 9HP Registered Charity No. 299946 Registered Company No. 2245478 ©2016 Wycombe Women's Aid
Refuge: 01494 461367 Outreach: 07890 456907 IDVA: 07483 159153
Asian Women's Helpline: 01494 446366