Acorns - UK
Supporting Children and Families Affected by Domestic Abuse
Safer lives, better chances
Years: 2020, 2021
In the first 3 weeks of lockdown in March the National Domestic Abuse helpline reported an increase in calls of 49%. Life is particularly hard for vulnerable children at the moment and abuse lasts 25% longer on average in more rural areas. Acorns provides a range of services for children, young people and families who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.
Children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse may have a lowered sense of self-worth, and show lack of confidence and low self-esteem. They may experience feelings of guilt, insecurity, powerlessness and fear and be socially isolated. They may not participate in school activities or get good grades, and get into trouble more often. They may also suffer from physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches, and bed wetting. This can lead to more serious psychosomatic illnesses such as depression. The current pandemic is exacerbating the challenges these children face, with increased anxiety, increased social isolation and confusion abounding.
Waiting lists have continued to increase throughout the lockdown period and as such, with current resources, waiting times are now much longer. There are currently 64 children on Acorns North Tyneside counselling waiting list, and wait times have gone from 8-10 weeks before lock down, to around 4-6 months. Acorns are predicting an increase in demand in Autumn Winter 20/21 for Recovery services as families come out of lock down and return to work and school, and are able to seek help for things that have been happening at home.
This application will support Acorns to deliver counselling support to 80 children (50 in North Tyneside and 30 in Northumberland) by the end of March 2021. It will enable them to respond to issues caused by the Coronavirus pandemic; reduce waiting times and reach young people in extremely rural settings.