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Nursery group funds 'Bright Space' for child domestic violence survivors to play and heal

Article By: Sue Learner

A charity set up by the nursery group Bright Horizons has created a new play area at Salisbury Women’s Refuge, for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence.

Around a hundred women in England and Wales were killed last year by a partner or former partner and according to the Office for National Statistics there were 1.2m women who had suffered domestic violence in the year ending March 2017.

One in seven children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood, according to Women’s Aid. The impact emotionally can be huge and can cause all kinds of problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and self-harming.

In a bid to help children who have been through this trauma, the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children joined forces with Bright Horizons Hickory House Nursery & Pre-school, Emcor UK and the Daisy Jane Trust, and have created a Bright Space in the family room at the Salisbury refuge.

Sandra Horner, manager at Salisbury Women’s Refuge said: “The thoughtful donations have already brought fun and happiness to mums and children and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Children at the refuge now have an inviting play area with a home corner for role play, books, art and craft materials, a climbing and crawling structure for babies and toddlers, and dressing-up clothes.

Tracy Wilkes-Green from the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children said: “We are delighted to open this Bright Space at Salisbury Women’s Refuge; and hope that it provides children with the opportunity to enjoy play and relaxation, aiding their recovery from the trauma they have experienced.”

The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children creates Bright Spaces, which are play areas in domestic violence shelters, refugee centres, prisons and child protection interview suites, to provide children with the opportunity to play, learn and heal from trauma in a place of safety. It does this in partnership with other charities and agencies which include Women’s Aid, Refuge, the Metropolitan Police and Refugee Action.

There are currently 56 Bright Spaces in the UK. The funding for the Bright Spaces is raised by Bright Horizons nursery staff teams, nursery children and families, as well as clients and suppliers.

click here for more details or to contact Bright Horizons Family Solutions


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