Thursday 10 November 2022
Seven families with 17 children between them enjoyed a festive fun day out at Willows Activity Farm in Hertfordshire.
All of the families, who are from Bedfordshire, are being supported by Embrace Child Victims of Crime because of crimes they have experienced.
The day out, last Friday, was organised by Embrace’s domestic abuse and safety manager Kayleigh Dalton and was kindly funded by Willows Activity Farm, Coursers Road, London Colney near St Albans.
The children enjoyed a visit to see Santa in his grotto and received a key to his toy shop where they were allowed to choose a gift to take away with them. They also had the chance to make-a-bear cuddly toy, decorate gingerbread and take part in a reindeer hunt. And if that wasn’t enough they also had a go on the festive funfair rides, the adventure playground and the soft play area. They also saw lots of farmyard animals.
Embrace Chief Executive Anne Campbell, said: “We are so grateful to Willows Activity Farm for providing such a fun-filled day out for these seven families. Their generosity really brought the magic of Christmas alive for this group of children who, through no fault of their own, have been struggling and needed our help.
“When children have experienced crime, they may be feeling frightened, anxious and upset and lose their confidence and self esteem. A key part of helping families recover from their trauma is helping them to move on and make new happy memories together and this day out provided a perfect opportunity for that.
“We also provide emotional support and counselling for families harmed by crime and can also help those struggling with the cost of living crisis with practical help including food vouchers, school unform, books and toys. If families have children who have experienced crime we are here to support them.”
One of the mums who attended the event, who has received support for herself and her six-year-old daughter after experiencing domestic abuse, said: “We had a really lovely time. Embrace have been so good to us providing therapy for both me and my daughter. And this Santa experience was magical. It was so nice to have a few hours away where we could forget about what has happened and have fun together. We made cookies, saw Santa and got to build a bear. She was full of smiles and giggles. We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us.”
Lyssa Elster, Chief Executive of Willows Activity Farm said: “I was delighted to be working with Kayleigh from Embrace to provide our Christmas experience for these families who have been through so much. The true meaning of Christmas is about giving to others, togetherness and spreading joy and we very much wanted to give them all a very special day to remember.”
To find out more about the services Embrace provides for families harmed by crime please visit www.embracecvoc.org.uk.