Equality. Education. Empowerment. Community. Connection. Change.
These are our brand values, and we live them in various ways. We are incredibly grateful for this new opportunity to impact families in our local area, and excited to cultivate a meaningful and long lasting partnership.
Can you imagine how it is to live in fear of abuse? For yourself and for your children? I can barely go there in my mind. What strikes me the more I think about this is that mothering, even in my comparatively perfect, somewhat privileged life, is challenging. I can’t imagine coping against a backdrop of fear.
And when I think about my own children, and the fairly minor circumstances in their lives that can temporarily derail their happiness, I can barely consider the contrasting experiences of children who might sit beside them in their classrooms and playgroups.
As mothers, I think it’s natural for us to seek to support each other. The women in our community, in person, and online, do that brilliantly already. It’s time for us to open our hearts wider, to families who might otherwise never encounter our brand. Being saddened by these issues is not enough.
If you missed it, click here to view the Facebook Live where I spoke to Anna, a volunteer for the charity.
If you’re not on Facebook, you can read a summary of what we discussed here…
“SOSDAP stands for SOS Domestic Abuse Projects. SOSDAP is a local charity that has supported victims of domestic abuse in Southend since 1976. SOSDAP runs the Dove Crisis Centre for Women, Fledglings Children and Young Peoples Service and Southend refuge. You might know the main office in West Road, just past the Palace Theatre.
At the Dove Centre on West Road, the crisis team help people experiencing/fleeing domestic abuse to leave the abusive environment, reduce their risk of further abuse and stay safe. This can mean developing individual safety plans helping them to obtain civil orders ie non molestation orders through court, often via emergency or short stay in refuge accommodation. The Dove Centre also offers counselling and recovery support group work to survivors, to help begin the process of rebuilding self-esteem , parenting skills and looking to the future. Last year the centre helped 587 women and excess of 120 children and their families..
The Fledglings team have a crucial role in the work they do to help children that have experienced abuse. The team deliver staying staff group programmes and well as one to one therapeutic and recovery work for children who have witnessed or experienced abuse. In Southend from 2014/15 to 15/16 there was increase of 41% of the number of incidents of domestic abuse that were witnessed, or involved children and young people. In addition a psychotherapist for children and young people will work on a one to one basis to help them overcome the trauma of abuse that they have experienced or witnessed. She also works with them to, rebuild their relationships with their resident parent (normally the mother) and learn about how to keep themselves safe. Children who have experienced abuse risk growing up to be victims and even perpetrators of abuse so SOSDAP runs a programme called ‘break the cycle’ aimed at minimising this risk by focussing on healthy relationships, by ‘resetting’ the course for these children to a have a much healthier future.
SOSDAP’s work is nothing short of life-changing and in some cases live-saving, yet the charity receives funding from SBC through commissioning. Fortunately, SOSDAPs additional work is made possible by large national funders like the National Lottery, charitable foundations as well as smaller donor funds and indeed local fundraisers. So it is brilliant that Keri has chosen SOSDAP as an ongoing beneficiary of the work she does, and I can say on behalf of the team at SOSDAP that we are extremely, extremely grateful for your support”