Project information

Summer Play Scheme

Hundreds of children stay in our domestic abuse refuges in London every year. Summer activities provide them with an opportunity to relax, to feel safe and to have fun while processing their experiences and beginning to adjust to a new life, free from fear and violence.

July 2018 - September 2018

Charity information: Hestia

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  • Need


    Children are often fearful or angry about having to leave their homes behind, their schools and all of their friends. For children who have experienced domestic abuse, either as a witness or as a victim of abuse themselves, the opportunity to play with other children or to visit new places is a welcome change and a chance to enjoy being themselves again.


    By incorporating play schemes to the child's programme of activity in the refuge, they can learn to trust their environment and participate in positive activities that allow them to have enjoyable experiences again. They can start to relax, safe in the knowledge that their abuser is no longer able to harm them.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

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


    » By providing a range of culturally sensitive and diverse recreational activities, children can have a safe space to enjoy and to interact with others

    As children from our refuges choose to participate and engage in our holiday playschemes, we will see the effectiveness of the programme in reducing social isolation.

    Aim 2

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


    » By providing a range of activities, children can choose to participate in those that match their own interests, while feeling safe and supported.

    By hearing from the children themselves, we will learn how their self-esteem and self-confidence has changed, and whether they feel more positive about the future and their safety

  • 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 available to provide the number of different activities we would hope to offer. We are exploring all available funding opportunities to support this project.
    • 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 bi-monthly newsletter, case study updates on our website and by issuing tailored reports as necessary.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,260

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,560 Volunteer Expenses Expenses for 2 volunteers for each of the 5 boroughs, for two days per week over 6 week period
      £3,200 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
      £500 Materials Arts, crafts and sports materials for each of our 5 sites
  • Background


    The project will run in the summer of 2017/18, across 5 of the London boroughs where we run refuges for victims of domestic abuse. The activities provided may take place outside of these boroughs, but will remain in the local area.


    Our beneficiaries will be the children staying in our refuges in the summer of 2017/18. The children will predominantly be under the age of 18, all of whom will have arrived at a refuge, with their mother, following domestic abuse.
    We are expecting an average of 20 people per borough to attend each trip as part of the holiday playscheme (including children, their mothers and our volunteers).
    With 4 trips planned, a total of 400 people could therefore benefit from the project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Hestia Housing and Support is the largest provider of domestic abuse refuges across London. Hestia has over 45 years of experience and last year provided services to over 9000 individuals, we:
    • Provide support to the women and children who live in our safe houses for victims of domestic abuse, including working with 545 children in 2015
    • Provide support to the adults and children who live in our safe houses for victims of human trafficking
    • Campaign to end domestic and sexual abuse

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Clare Cathy

    Volunteer manager