Our Covid-19 Response Programme
These have been and continue to be challenging and uncertain times for us all. Like the rest of the world Dandelion Time has adapted to meet the challenges of the Coronavirus. Throughout lockdown we remained open, delivering individual sessions to support the children and families who need us. We are continuing to offer this individual service knowing that we can provide a safe environment for families throughout the months ahead.
We are aware of the challenges that both lockdown and the return to school has placed on families. For many children, a return to school is a most welcome experience with a re-introduction to friends and the learning environment. For others, this may be a different experience and could feel like a real challenge. We are here for those families who are feeling overwhelmed and whose children are finding it difficult to re-engage with their schooling.
As restrictions continue to fluctuate, we are considering the impacts of these on our mental health and overall wellbeing and those of the children and families seeking support. It has also been well documented that there has been a rise in domestic abuse during the lockdown period. From this, we know that many children are affected by the impact of isolation with no escape from violence and fear. For families who have been able to seek help and support and are beginning to make their journey of recovery, Dandelion Time offers a nurturing and healing space to rebuild their sense of safety and begin to recover their relationships.
NHS data suggests that lockdown has led to a 50% rise in children’s mental health problems. Continuing our work is paramount as the needs of vulnerable children and families remain greater than ever.
How We Are Working Currently
As it stands, we are not delivering our multi-family programme and instead running individual sessions for each family. During these times we have been fortunate enough to rely on the strength and consistency of the natural world to provide an environment for families to experiment with activities and interactions with a sense of nurture and safety. These concentrated opportunities allowing families time and space have been vital in supporting children to begin healing
Dandelion Time’s venture into 1:1 work has been a joyful new experience for our team and the families alongside them. The current climate has left many feeling uneasy amongst the complexity and uncertainty of the world around us and this opportunity for a new way of working has been an enlightening and exciting process.
Additional Support Provided
Families unable to attend on site, for example if a family member is shielding, will attend online interactive sessions, individually or within small groups (groups are only for families who have previously attended together).
They will engage in cooking, storytelling, crafts and gardening and Case Workers will provide ongoing therapeutic support to these ‘at risk’ families and retain an overview of their difficulties.
Families receive a weekly phone call and therapeutic support sessions from a caseworker.
|‘Dandelion Craft Time’
Packs have been sent to families to support the online sessions. These packs include materials and guidance for crafting, cooking and growing and will also give the children and families guidance and materials to undertake meaningful activities between their weekly sessions.
A Virtual Hub has been created on our website which has video resources for our children and families featuring the familiar Dandelion Time animals, recipes, craft activities and stories.
This is available to our current and past service users to help this through this difficult time.
Our Longer-Term Priorities
As the the pandemic continues there will be unprecedented demand for our service as the fragilities of vulnerable children and families are under enormous strain. We have already expanded our capacity and be able to offer more sessions to meet the increased need.
If you are able to support us during this challenging period, we would be most grateful. A donation however big or small will make a difference so we can continue our work to restore the lives of vulnerable of children and families for years to come.