I recently attended an incredible local kids charity called Be Centre which is kids mental health organisation based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. As a toy blogger I am 110% passionate about play based learning and this particular organisation is unique in that it is dedicated to Play Therapy. This particular charity is focused on helping kids aged 3 to 12 years who have experienced trauma (whether that is divorce, family death, alcoholic parents, lengthy hospital stays, domestic violence or bullying) in their lives and need a save place to help explore and express their feelings, build trust and self confidence.
The early intervention helps kids later on in life as there are less incidences of mental heath problems for the kids that go through their 12 week program.
Play Therapy is an evidence-based and highly effective approach. Last year Be Centre conducted more than 2,000 Play Therapy sessions, successfully helping children in difficulty work though their experiences and heal from trauma so they can go on to create brighter futures for themselves, their families and the community.
They are not-for-profit organisation started in 2008 by a local mum who needed to help her son who himself was experiencing difficulties. The majority of their work is community funded, allowing children who are most in need to access vital therapeutic help. They receive generous support from individuals and businesses but the need for their services is increasing and they have more than 100 children on our waitlist which can mean up to 6 months to wait to get into their program.
They also help the parents of the kids and offer other therapy based parenting programs. There is such a demand for this type of play based therapy that they have moved to a new premises and have 6 play rooms as well as counselling rooms for the carers.
This play based therapy and learning is in schools in the UK and US but unfortunately in Australia, our government hasn’t yet picked up on how important it is in early education and how much intervention as a child helps them later in life.
Be Centre have kindly asked me to assist them in garnering support this Christmas for their charity as they have 5 kids who desperately need our help.
At the top of the waitlist are five northern beaches kids who are in crisis this Christmas.
They are looking to raise AUD$10,000 for five scholarships so that these five kids can get the urgent support they need.
$2,000 per child gives:
• 12 weeks of one-to-one Play Therapy with a dedicated Be Centre therapist
• face-to-face and phone support for their parents and carers
• family support with ongoing access to parenting support and resources
With $10,000 they can help these five kids, who are in the greatest need, get help and support to thrive through their difficulties.
One of the children is Mia, a delightful 10-year old who has already endured a lot in her life.
She was referred to Be Centre by Relationships Australia where she had been attending a support group, which was being cancelled. Mia her mother and siblings left the family home and lived in a refuge for several weeks, in hiding from her father who was both verbally and physically violent with all of them. They are now settled in a small unit, but struggle financially. Mia endured abuse including being beaten and locked in a cupboard after her father’s episodes of binge drinking. She is very anxious and has trouble sleeping – this is impacting on her ability to concentrate at school. Her mother and teacher are concerned that she is also developing an eating disorder and both recently discovered she has been self-harming.
Her fear of her father is so great that at school she refuses to leave her classroom in case he arrives at school and takes her away which is so incredibly heart breaking.
Be Centre hope to offer Mia a place in their sponsorship program soon as she is in urgent need of support. Her anxiety is extreme and she needs a safe place to work through how she feels and the things that have happened to her.
Due to the time of year sponsorships have run out at the Be Centre and without further support they will not be able to offer her a place until the New Year.
With your help they can support these five kids through the process of making sense of their situations, exploring and expressing their feelings, restoring trust and building self confidence, life skills and resilience.
I was so impressed and inspired by the work at the Be Centre that I have volunteered to help them next year as I am really passionate about their work, their role in the community and play based learning as a whole.
So if you can dig deep this Christmas, please check out this link and donate to an incredibly worthy cause, helping 5 kids receive the support, help and guidance they need to overcome their trauma and be given the necessary skills to gain self confidence, belief and importantly to trust again. I have donated money on behalf of my blogger and Virtual Assistant clients in lieu of Christmas gifts this year. Another great way to donate if you are an organisation or small business.