Referrals now open for domestic abuse support programme

(Photo: Laura Dodsworth)
(Photo: Laura Dodsworth)

Referrals are being accepted for an innovative multi-agency initiative for children, young people and mothers in the Borders who may be experiencing difficulties as a consequence of domestic abuse.

CEDAR provides a therapeutic psycho-educational 12-week programme that takes place over 12 weeks with groups for children and young people (aged 5-16) and their mothers running in parallel.

These groups provide an opportunity to explore the experiences, understanding and feelings associated with domestic abuse, with an emphasis on providing fun and creative activities that keep children engaged and interacting with each other.

The overall aim is to create a safe place for children and their mothers to help each other to find the best strategies to deal with their experiences and rebuild their lives. This includes helping mothers to support their children in their recovery.

The next session is due to start in March 2020. People can refer themselves directly but referrals are also received from schools, health workers, social workers or support agencies such as Children 1st or the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Support Service.

Councillor Tom Weatherston, executive member for Children and Families Social Work, said: “The impact of domestic abuse is unimaginably profound and life changing and no less so when it affects the youngest members of our community.

“A programme like CEDAR is a vitally important way of providing them with the support that they need to try and make sense of what has happened to them and find a way to move forward with their lives.

“Feedback received from families who have gone through the programme has been extremely positive with many reporting significant benefits from taking part and I would encourage anyone who feels they could benefit, or knows someone for whom CEDAR would be helpful, to get in touch and find out more.”

Councillor George Turnbull, executive member for Community Safety and chair of the Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board, added: “If you are someone who is experiencing domestic abuse, or have done so in the past, please be aware that you are not alone.

“There are people you can talk to.

“The National Domestic Helpline: 0800 027 1234 is available 24-hours a day, while the Council’s website has a great deal of information: www.scotborders.gov.uk/domesticabuse. In an emergency you shouldn’t hesitate to call 999.

“If you reach out, you can be sure there will be someone there to listen with the advice, information and help you need.”

For more information contact the CEDAR Co-ordinator at: cedar@scotborders.gov.uk or on 01835 824000 Ext. 5494.