A family of three had to escape the family home due to severe ongoing domestic violence, which happened in front of the children, who were all primary school aged. They came to us so the healing journey could begin. The children’s terrifying experiences had led to trauma and lack of confidence which made it hard for them to make friends, especially for the youngest daughter Ciara*. She rarely came out of her room and hid behind Mum if she did. 

Open Support received a very welcome grant from Variety Australia which allowed us to purchase oversized outdoor games and some tactile boards (which are like very large busy boards) to make the refuge more child friendly.  One is in the shape of a crocodile, what fun!  The very first day we had these items installed, it brought out the children and adults. There were laughter, life and people of all ages enjoying the games. 

Ciara ventured out of the room and the other children asked her to join in. Just like that she made her first friends.  Her confidence grew and soon she could come out of her room to play with the children, without Mum. The children like to play hide and seek as well as the new games. 

Being a non-government funded service, we rely heavily on grants and donations and the importance of those donations is phenomenal.  Even the smallest of donations has a huge impact on vulnerable families and children like Ciara. Thank you to those who support us – you really do make a child’s day better!  

*Not her real name.