Our work with referred families has consistently helped highly troubled children and families overcome trauma and lead more positive lives. Many children and young people have been able to progress with a more positive outlook in school, at home and in the community. They learn how to express their feelings in non-destructive ways, build relationships with their peers, and relate to others without conflict whilst gaining new skills and interests. Crucially, supportive and caring therapeutic staff and volunteers provide positive role models and present a caring model of adulthood for children to aspire to, sometimes following years of negative experiences. Regular evaluation of our work indicates that children and young people are less fearful, are able to self regulate their behaviour and manage their feelings, and gain a belief that they are able to achieve in life.
“Despite many years of Mental Health input from medical agencies for all members of this family, the one intervention that has truly worked is the Dandelion Project. We have seen a remarkable transition of all family members with an increase in their confidence, and significant improvement in their relationships within the past few months”. S. Johnson, Community Mental Health Nurse
Over the last 9 years our unique approach has proved successful for many families. On average 90% of families referred to us complete programmes and 75% of children re-engage with education. Independent evaluation of the service (Research Centre for Children, Schools and Families, University of Greenwich, 2011 Carl Parsons Report) shows dramatic improvements in emotional wellbeing and conduct in referred children. Demand for the service from professionals across health and social care settings continues to increase year on year, and we currently support around 70 troubled families per year, as well as offering several hundred local children with an opportunity to experience farm and craft activities.
As well as therapeutic benefits, the activities offer positive social and educational experiences which provide a rich and varied base upon which children and young people can broaden their life skills and opportunities. They achieve this by discovering their talents and exploring new interests which, with help from peer and adult mentors, can be transferred into hobbies and activities in community settings.