The Helen Bamber Foundation is a specialist UK charity with extensive experience working with people who have survived extreme physical, sexual and psychological violence. We deliver a range of integrated services that address the complex needs and vulnerabilities of survivors. We offer survivors access to an individually tailored programme of specialist psychological care and physical rehabilitation activities alongside an advisory GP clinic, expert medico-legal documentation, safeguarding, welfare and housing support, creative arts and employability skills programmes.
The Helen Bamber Foundation helps asylum seekers and refugees who have survived extreme violence and abuse achieve sustained recovery.
This is a three-stage process:
Stage 1 – Stabilisation
Helping survivors to manage their acute symptoms such as flashbacks, low mood and anxiety; as well as associated circumstances such as destitution or legal adversity that impact on mental health.
Stage 2 – Intervention
Supporting people to come to terms with the traumatic experiences they have suffered.
Stage 3 – Integration
Helping clients belong in their community and pursue independent and fulfilling lives.
An hour at the Helen Bamber Foundation
Hamid arrives first. Hamid walks with a pronounced limp, he is a young survivor of torture from Eritrea who began treatment at the Foundation three months ago. He has just started intensive trauma-focussed therapy and is nervous about his next session with our Head of Therapies, Dr Katy Robjant. In his session, Katy helps Hamid to talk through his experiences being imprisoned in a shipping container in the East African desert. It is an important breakthrough in his progress to recovery that he is able to complete the session without dissociating or having panic attacks and flashbacks that used to afflict him almost constantly. In the next room, Xin has arrived for a sexual health assessment with one of our volunteer GPs, Dr Jane Hunt.
Xin is an orphan who was trafficked from China and forced into prostitution, first in Eastern Europe and then in London. She is too ashamed and afraid to see an NHS GP so Jane is undertaking an initial assessment. Anna then arrives. Anna was trafficked from West Africa, her traffickers used pseudo-religious juju rituals involving her blood, hair and reflection to convince Anna that terrible things will happen to her and her family if she ever escaped or told anyone about her experiences. She has many physical scars and struggles to talk openly or trust people. Today however Anna is happy and has come to a meeting with Andrew, our in-house legal expert, to tell him that with the help of our specialist Medico-Legal Report she has finally been recognised as a survivor of trafficking and has been awarded indefinite leave to remain in the UK.