£1.5 Million Awarded To Create ‘Child's House For Healing’
Thanks to Players of People's Postcode Lottery, an amazing £1.5 million has been awarded to fund a House for Healing for child victims and witnesses of crime.
A revolutionary new house designed to protect, support and get justice for child victims and witnesses of crime is to be opened in the west of Scotland, thanks to £1.5 million raised by Players of People's Postcode Lottery.
Project partners Children 1st, Victim Support Scotland, Children England and the University of Edinburgh have collaborated to create the UK's first Child's House for Healing. The facility will be a child-friendly, safe and welcoming place for children to go to, as an alternative to courts, social work offices and police stations.
The House for Healing is inspired by an internationally-renowned model, first developed in Iceland. Designed to feel like a family home, the Child's House will be a space where children can give evidence, receive medical care, take part in decisions about their protection and get support to recover from the trauma they have experienced.
By reducing the number of times a child needs to talk about what's happened the House for Healing will ensure children get justice, reduce the trauma they experience and help them to recover more quickly.
The People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund offers organisations the opportunity to apply for funding to bring their dream project to life over a two-year period.
Every year, 12,600 children in Scotland require special support to give evidence in court. It is hoped that House for Healing will become the catalyst for similar projects elsewhere in the UK so that more children are better supported when giving evidence and are able to recover from their experiences.
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive of Children 1st, said: “We are delighted and incredibly excited to receive this funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, which will help end the nightmares of thousands of children who are victims of abuse and crime.
“Players have made our dream – to create Britain’s first Child’s House for Healing – come true. By creating and testing a new approach, the centre will transform our systems of justice, health, care and protection so that every child victim and witness is kept safe from further harm, gets justice and is supported to heal.
“We and our partners want to offer our heartfelt thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. With their help, we will offer children and their families the support they need to recover, repair and move on with their lives.”
Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: “Many people would be shocked to see the heart-breaking harm that court processes and procedures can do to children who have already undergone terrible experiences. Sadly, in our work we see it every day. Our Dream Fund partnership brings together an incredible combination of experience, skills and networks and we are looking forward to working even more closely together to make the Child’s House for Healing real for children and their families.”
The Scottish Government’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, said: “We are working hard to support children and young people who are the victims of crime but there is always more which can be done.
“That’s why I was pleased to learn that Scotland is to be the location for Britain’s first “Child’s House for Healing”, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
“Countries around the world have learned from the Scottish justice system over the years and it is only right that we seek to learn from others too.
“I look forward to visiting the House for Healing in the years ahead and to meeting some of the young people benefitting from its services.”
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I am proud that funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is being used to support children who are the victims of crime, creating a safe space for them at an incredibly difficult time. With this funding I hope that the children using this space are able to take the next positive steps in their lives.”
£138 million was awarded to charities in 2019, thanks to funding raised by players of the lottery. In total, players have now raised more than £500 million for over 7,500 charities working in Britain and beyond. The winners of the Dream Fund receive their funding through Postcode Dream Trust - a grant giving trust, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. There are two other winners of the 2020 Dream Fund who will be announced later this year.