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Project information

Summer Play for Child Survivors of Abuse & Slavery

Hundreds of children stay in our domestic abuse refuges and safehouses for those who've escaped modern slavery. Summer play activities give these children who've gone through unimaginable trauma the chance to get their childhood back... to play, to smile, to run, to laugh... knowing they're safe.

June 2019 - September 2019

Charity information: Hestia

Hestia logo
  • Need


    Children whose mothers have escaped abuse are often fearful or angry about having to leave their homes, their schools and all of their friends behind. Children who have experienced domestic abuse or modern slavery, either as a witness or as a victim of abuse themselves often suffer from significant trauma that, if not addressed, can lead to severe patterns of negative behaviour in future life. Relationships between child and mother are often also damaged with common ground difficult to find.


    Play schemes in a child's refuge or safehouse enable children to learn to trust their environment again. They can relax, safe in the knowledge that their abuser can't harm them. By taking part in fun and positive activities with other children that are safely and constructively managed by trained staff, the children can develop positive relationships and build an understanding of how to interact with others. It's also an opportunity for mother and child to rebuild their relationship.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce social isolation of children who have witnessed or directly experienced domestic abuse.


    » By organising collective activities children can have a fun, safe space to interact with other children and make friends again

    What success will look like

    We will carry out short surveys with children about how easy they find it to make friends and then carry out end of project surveys to measure their

    Aim 2

    To help children relax and have fun without fear of violence or abuse.


    » By providing a range of safe, supervised play activities, children can enjoy their childhood again, have fun and smile

    What success will look like

    At the end of the project we will carry out feedback sessions which will be recorded in audio format (to maintain anonymity) for the children to feedback on what they enjoyed

    Aim 3

    To improve damaged relationships between mother and child


    » Across all activities and especially the planned sports and fitness activities, mothers and children will be supported to rebuild their family bond.

    What success will look like

    We will talk to mothers and children at the end of the activities about their relationship and how they enjoyed spending time with one another

  • Impact


    Every child will have a different experience of abuse and a different way of handling their experiences. Our holiday playschemes are part of a wider support programme, aiming to reduce the likelihood of children experiencing long-term effects of the abuse in their adult lives. Each child will self-report on how they feel upon leaving the refuge and will receive any further on-going support as required.


    • Lack of funds to provide the number of different activities we would hope to offer. We are exploring all available opportunities to support this project and have recently secured support from corporate volunteers
    • Some activities are weather dependent and may need to be re-organised should the conditions not be suitable.
    • Sickness of qualified workers to facilitate the sessions. We will address this by always ensuring we have sufficient qualified workers on-hand to deliver the project.


    We will report through our website that will be launched in May and our regular e-newsletter. Donors follow on social media and we will use that medium in order to provide ongoing updates on our work within the confines of a safeguarding process to ensure that vulnerable kids cannot be identified.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Volunteer Expenses Expenses for 2 volunteers for each of the 5 boroughs, for two days per week over 6 week period
      £5,200 Travel Travel to and from activities. Calculated at an average rate of £8 per return trip for 400 people
      £4,000 Entrance fees Average entrance fee of £10 pp, 20 people per borough attending each trip, running 4 trips
      £4,800 Materials Arts, crafts and sports materials for each of our 5 sites
      £7,800 Sessional play workers Playworkers and sports coaches to deliver activities
      £4,200 Play scheme leader 2 days per week worker to manage the project
  • Background


    The project will run in the summer of 18, supporting victims of abuse across all London boroughs where we run refuges for victims of domestic abuse and safehouses for those who have escaped modern slavery. Some activities will bring these children and mothers to take part in larger activities.


    Our beneficiaries will be the children staying in our refuges in the summer of 18. The children will be under 18, with the majority under the age of 11, all of whom will have arrived at a refuge, with their mother, following domestic abuse or liberation from modern slavery. We are expecting to engage with just under 1,000 children during the project. The mothers of the children will indirectly benefit through improved relationships with their children.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Hestia is the largest provider of domestic abuse refuges across London. Hestia has over 45 years of experience. Last year we provided services to 9000 individuals such as:
    • Provision of support to women and children domestic abuse refuges working with over 600 children in 2016
    • Provision of support to the adults and children who live in our safe houses for victims of modern slavery, working with over 300 in 2016
    We have the experience , staffing and volunteering to enable us to change lives.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Clare Carty

    Clare is our Volunteer Manager and has gained great expertise both in successfully recruiting and managing our volunteers and our summer programme.