Counselling programme for young children is saved thanks to lottery
2:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in Latest News
A COUNSELLING service to help primary school children as young as six cope with family break-up, anxiety or bereavement has been saved thanks to lottery funding.
The Big Lottery has committed more than £100,000 to ensure that Time to Talk sessions run by Relate Mid Wiltshire continue in 13 primary schools and are introduced to another four in more deprived areas of the county.
The rest of the money needed to meet the £217,000 cost of running the service for the next three years, aimed at six to 11-year-olds, is being contributed by Relate, Wiltshire Council and schools.
Pamela Woods, business development manager at Relate Mid Wiltshire, said: “Four of these schools have not had access to the service before. The other 13 had the service but were in danger of being unable continue.
“Due to this funding success we have been able to sustain and expand the service.”
Time to Talk offers short- term counselling for children who are troubled by emotional difficulties such as family breakdown, conflict, peer relationships, anxiety, anger or bereavement.
It is forecast that 420 children per year will benefit.
Julia Hawkins, headteacher at Queen’s Crescent Primary School in Chippenham, said: “It is absolutely fantastic for the children who experience difficulties within family life.
“We currently have Time to Talk for older children and now we can open it up to different year groups.”
Counsellors use creative play to help children express and understand their feelings better and offer children strategies to cope with circumstances they cannot change.
Access is through self- referral or staff referral and parents can also request the service for their child. Written consent is sought before counselling starts.
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