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Creative Therapy: Changing Children's Lives

by Kathleen Taylor in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st April 2020 we successfully raised £5,013 with 19 supporters in 154 days

Help us change children's lives by funding a creative therapist who will provide support, build resilience and give hope to children in need

by Kathleen Taylor in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

As our service has increased to respond to demand it is important that as an organisation our management and internal structure grow to support this. This additional money would help us ensure  the expansion and continuation of both our therapy services for children and adults. We would like  to fund a person for additional hours  for fundraising and project development. We want our project to continue to be sustainable and to meet the growing demand. This is crucial if our project wants to expand and work with more individuals in the community for the long term. It's extremely hard to find grants for this position, yet it is crucial.

                                      Creative Therapy: 

                              Changing Children's Lives                       


The Bourne Family Project is based in Kingswood, Bristol. We provide a safe space for children and adults who are experiencing difficult situations to seek listening support and care. Both our Children’s Creative Therapy team and Adult Counselling team work in a person-centred way, carefully listening to each person’s story, empowering individuals to explore ways to wellbeing, to make positive life changes, to develop resilience and to have hope for the future.  

We offer both creative and talking therapies for adults and children. We are a team of qualified and student therapists and counsellors, working with a heart to reach vulnerable individuals and transform lives.

What will my donation do?
We are extremely proud of this charity and the positive differences we have made to families over the years. Your donation will help support the ongoing provision of our Children’s Creative Therapy service. We have a very high demand for this service, with over 90 children on our waiting list.

With this funding we will be able to fund a new Creative Therapist post. This will support many children on our waiting list.

Why do some children need therapy?
We have supported children who have witnessed or been subject to trauma, including domestic abuse, have attachment disorder, suffered bereavement or loss, high anxiety, low self esteem, suffered neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, illness or family breakdown. We have also worked with children who have additional needs. As a result of these challenges some of these children suffer from nightmares, withdrawal, behavioural difficulties, anger, poor social skills and depression. These lists are by no means exhaustive.

What is Creative Therapy at the Bourne Family Project?
Our Creative Therapy team is made up of Play Therapists and a Dance Movement Psychotherapist.

Each therapist reflects, supports and acknowledges the child to provide a space where they are heard, not judged; where it is OK to feel and express emotions. The therapy is child-led. The child is given the opportunity to express themselves through the toys provided; for example puppets, clay, art, sand or through role play and the child can choose what they want to play with. This is a way for children to process their traumatic experiences, either through talking, movement, or through the metaphor of play, helping to make painful memories less intense and increasing resilience.  

 We work with children aged 3-14 years old. We initially contract for 16 sessions lasting 50 minutes each. We only ask for a voluntary donation towards this service: no one would ever be turned away. We arrange ongoing Review meetings with parents/carers and, when necessary, we liaise with other agencies.

Children are referred to us by their parents/carers, health visitors, schools, social services departments, as well as other local charities. Our heart is to serve our local community and meet the needs of all families; Creative Therapy plays a vital role in this. Every week we receive phone calls for children to access our service, each year the number of referrals increases, which indicates the huge need. We want to be able to bring our waiting list down so children are not having to wait so long for help, and so we can meet the increasing need.

The differences we can make!!

Creative Therapy can empower children and help them gain control over their world, which in turn impacts the whole family.

Some of the outcomes after therapy could include a child being able to implement suitable coping strategies for difficult feelings they experience; a child being less fearful; less anxious; less aggressive; less withdrawn; more confident, and overall be more happy and content.

We have seen that early intervention is key.  If a child can access this support early it gives them more of a chance to develop in to a healthy, happy adult. Our Creative Therapy service makes a tangible and sustainable difference.

Parent feedback includes:

“The Bourne Family Project has been a life line to me and my children. With helpful staff that are supportive in the delicate matters of family life. As for the children they work with them to help them to understand issues they have come across in their short lives. These issues can be from trauma to mental or physical disabilities. It is a minefield being a parent and there is no rule book so when a child needs specialist help they will work with you to make sure that you and your child get the help you need.”

“My children have both benefited from play therapy. They have been able to deal with deep-rooted issues as a result of domestic violence and special educational needs. This has enabled them to process difficulties in a safe environment with trained professionals which has made life changing impacts to us all as a family unit.”

“The BFP helped me and my son form a better relationship. They have helped him trust me with asking questions about his past as well as help him control his thoughts and emotions better"

"I would recommend their brilliant work to anyone who feels their child could benefit from it”

"To me it saved our family. It enabled each of the children to come somewhere they had fun and felt safe, whilst processing the trauma and abuse they'd each been through. As a family it healed the wounds, that so often we struggle to deal with, and has given us a new beginning.  My family are stronger, and my children get to be just children once again.  I credit the work you did as your significance was highlighted in the girls' 'Who I feel safe with' work, and you were named!! The work my son had has allowed him to go on and talk to his peer group in a mental health workshop, about how with the right support you can enjoy life and it (trauma) doesn't have to determine what's next!" - mother of two daughters who attended Play Therapy and one son who attended Dance Movement Psychotherapy.

"The Bourne Family Project has helped give my son his confidence back. They have been brilliant and quick to help anyway they can"

Can you help us make a difference?

Our charity makes a huge difference to the lives we work with. We want to be able to continue this valuable work so that we can continue to build the charity to support the local community. In 2018, 145 individuals received 1-1 therapy, 88 of whom were children. However we still have many more children needing therapy, who are currently having to wait. As a small charity we see the massive need and we want to be able to work with more children who really need support now! If you are able, please donate any amount to help us reach our goal.  It means more children will be seen.



Thank you for taking the time to look at our project.




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