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Project information


Our proposal is for a Dramatherapist to work with women and children living in our refuges. Dramatherapy draws on the healing potential of Drama and Movement and can offer many benefits to people who have experienced the trauma of domestic abuse.


Charity information: yourSanctuary

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  • Need


    Women affected by domestic abuse often report that the hardest part of escaping and recovering from domestic abuse is dealing with psychological scars which can include low self esteem, distorted self image, suicidal behaviour, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. People living with abuse often develop coping strategies that negatively affect their health including alcohol and drug abuse, self harm, self imposed isolation and neglect, eating disorders and aggressive or passive behaviour.


    We have had a very generous offer of support from a qualified Dramatherapist, who is offering to work with women and children living in our refuges for one session per month. Her approach is client led and can offer many benefits to people who have experienced the trauma of domestic abuse. We believe that dramatherapy will make a valuable addition to the work of our support workers in empowering our residents to take control, move on in their lives and build their self-confidence.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    For clients to understand and come to terms with their experience, breaking away from past abuse.


    » Dramatherapist to meet with our support workers to identify how residents might benefit, and establish whether sessions should be one on one or group.
    » Dramatherapist to hold one one one or group sessions with women and their children, using methods to explore issues in a non-confrontational way.
    » There would be a post session meeting with support workers in order to assess the impact of the sessions on the recovery of each of our clients.
    » The Dramatherapist would be required to attend a clinical supervision session after each dramatherapy session.

    What success will look like

    Success will be that women will have explored feelings and emotions, allowing them to accept their experience which will be demonstrated by consistent progress record.

    Aim 2

    For our clients to build up self esteem and feelings of empowerment and confidence.


    » This would be achieved following the methods highlighted above.

    What success will look like

    Success will be that women will overcome the psychological effects of the abuse, which will be assessed in line with their refuge support worker.

  • Impact


    The project will prevent the women and children at our refuges from suffering the long term effects of the abuse- avoiding future abusive relationships and negative effects on their health outlined in the Needs section of our project. The Dramatherpist will record progress in meeting outcomes established for each individual and the movement of each client along the spectrum of change and recovery. This will be done through pre and post session assessment and recording of observations.


    There may be a risk that clients are unwilling to engage with the project. We will deal with this through tailoring the support we provide to each individual. There is also a risk that the project will not be suitable for some clients. We will provide them with alternative support through our counselling service and other available programes. Further risks identified will be discussed during pre and post therapy sessions between the Dramatherapist and refuge support workers.


    We will provide donors with a full outline of methods used in the Dramatherapy project. We will also provide case studies of clients who have benefitted from the project to demonstrate successes and progress of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,609

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,515 Dramatherapist Costs associated with Dramatherpist salary and materials used
      £2,094 Staffing costs your Sanctuary staff time attributed to project
  • Background


    The project will take place in the two safe houses which we provide for women and their children who have had to escape their abuse. These are the only such facilities in Northwest Surrey. We help domestic abuse survivors make the transition from temporary refuge to independent living by offering support in financial management, housing, education and parenting.


    At any one time we usually have around 12 women in refuge plus around 20-30 children, with clients staying between 4 and 6 months. This means that the project could benefit a maximum of 50 women and 100 children over a year, with each having the opportunity to attend 6 dramatherapy sessions.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    your Sanctuary provides the only refuge services in North West Surrey. By providing support in the form of Dramatherapy we can provide women and their children, who flee from around the country, a further chance to overcome their experience and avoid the negative effects of abuse on their physical and mental health.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Our qualified Dramatherapist will deliver the project to the women in refuge.

    Refuge Support Workers

    Our Refuge Support Workers provide help and support to the women in refuge, and contribute to the day to day operation of our safe houses.

    Operations Managers

    Our Operations Managers support staff to provide the best possible service to our clients, and will ensure that the project is well managed.


    Our volunteer counsellors provide clinical supervision to members of staff as an additional means of support in the work they deliver to clients.