People who have been isolated with abusers for long periods of time often lack confidence and feel intimidated when interacting with others. They frequently find themselves painfully lonely and isolated. Survivors need support to help move on after their trauma, integrate into their new communities and experience the world fully. We help people make the first steps in meeting new people as well as increasing skills and supporting further education.
WHY DO SURVIVORS NEED COMMUNITY & INTEGRATION SUPPORT?
Many Survivors have suffered exploitation from a young age and have often have been denied any education. People who have suffered in these ways are frequently sidelined by society because they are unable to interact in the ways we expect. If you have experienced trafficking and torture you will find it very hard to trust or feel safe with other people. In the UK, studies show that refugees who are unable to speak English are at the highest risk of exclusion. Without education or language to communicate, the practicalities of finding a job and working are overwhelming. Our clients know what their rights are and with us, are given the space to build skills to get them to a place of safety, both physically and mentally.
WHAT’S OUR SOLUTION?
Through the Helen Bamber Foundation’s Community & Integration Programme, our clients can be part of a new community that can help them rebuild their trust with people and society. It is vital for Survivors to interact with other people who have had similar experiences; it helps them feel seen and can help Survivors come to terms with what has happened to them.
With our weekly Community Group and Creative Arts and Skills Programme activity groups, education and employment workshops and 1-to-1 appointments, Survivors develop their social and practical skills. Research shows that social support networks have the ability to help to reduce feelings of isolation and depression.
Our group activities and 1-to-1 support give Survivors access to education and skill-building opportunities they may have never had. Clients can learn to speak for themselves and form friendships that are vital for their wellbeing and self esteem.
When Survivors arrive at the Helen Bamber Foundation many cannot even imagine being able to work and live freely in the world. We stay with the Survivor for their whole journey so they feel valued and intrinsically part of our society.
OUR COMMUNITY AND INTEGRATION PROGRAMME IS SUPPORTIVE, EMPOWERING AND CREATIVE
Our programme engages professionals, volunteers and works in collaboration with other NGOs, to support Survivors fully into the community and society as a whole.
Our care involves group activities including art, yoga, English and photography.
Within these groups, Survivors are given the space to access their creativity and start the journey of finding their pre- trauma identity. A weekly community group for isolated Survivors delivers a new level of care. It provides social, practical and therapeutic support for the whole journey, for total sustained recovery.
- Our care provides access to education.
- We deliver weekly computer and English classes.
- Survivors are also supported to access ESOL classes and gain qualifications.
For clients who would like to attend college or university we deliver regular clinics to help them do this. We also offer one to one support to help Survivors find appropriate opportunities and submit applications.
- Our care helps Survivors find employment.
Many of our clients are incredibly motivated. They want to find a job, have financial independence and start living their lives fully. The Helen Bamber Foundation offers activities specifically designed to to support refugees and asylum seekers. It includes tailored CV and interview support, outreach and placement work with employers and linking clients with targeted employability schemes such as the The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network and Breaking Barriers, a charity that offers bespoke employment support.
A FEW FACTS ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY AND INTEGRATION PROGRAMME
Of the Survivors attending our Weekly Community Group and Creative Arts and Skills Programme
79% have said they have felt increased confidence since attending.
70% have said they have made new friends in the group.
80% have said they have learnt new skills
74% have felt less lonely since being part of the Community Group.
You just don’t know how much my Helen Bamber Foundation group is doing for me, I feel like am living again. I have never been among a group of women with so much peace and joy. It’s the best thing ever. Thank you so much, you owe us nothing but your dedication is out of this world.