Ella’s Story

Meet Ella*, a brave young girl who, along with her family, found solace and support at The Haven during a challenging time at home. Initially hesitant and fearful, Ella soon discovered a safe and nurturing environment filled with dedicated individuals committed to helping her thrive.
Despite struggling with reading and writing upon her arrival, The Haven provided Ella* with personalised, engaging sessions that transformed her learning experience. With our guidance and encouragement, she explored fun and creative ways to develop essential skills, from watching educational videos to playing with alphabet puzzles.


am Ella*, and I want to tell you about my time at The Haven. It’s a place where me, my mum, my two sisters, and my brother went when things became too hard at home. At first, I felt kind of scared and weird because we had to go there. But then, I met some really nice people, and they helped me so much.

When I got to The Haven, I couldn’t read or write anything. It made me feel sad and not good about myself. But the people at The Haven said they could help me.

They gave me these 1-1 sessions where it was just me and a teacher. We did lots of fun stuff to learn, like watching videos and playing with toys. I even got to draw and make crafts while learning! It was like playing but also learning at the same time.

One of the coolest things we did was puzzles and games. They had this alphabet puzzle, and we would match letters with words. It helped me understand how letters make sounds and how to spell words. I even learned how to spell my siblings’ names!

It was like a magic trick, but it was just learning. Sometimes, I didn’t want to go to the sessions because my family had other stuff to do. But when I did go, I always had fun and learned something new. The people at The Haven never got mad at me for missing sessions. They always said it was okay and that we could catch up next time.

Now, I feel so much better about myself. I can read small words and write stuff all by myself! It feels like I’m a superhero with super reading and writing powers. My mum says I’m getting really smart, and my sisters and brother are proud of me too.

I told the people at The Haven that I feel a lot smarter and better about myself because of the sessions. They were happy to hear that. They said we’re going to keep doing the sessions so I can keep getting better at reading and writing. They even said we might do some fun learning stuff with other kids too!

I’m really excited to keep learning and getting better. Maybe one day, I’ll be the smartest person ever! But for now, I’m just happy to be me; Ella, the reading and writing wizkid”!

*Ella’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

Related Stories

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999

How can we help?

I need to talk to someone on the phone

Our free helpline is available on 08000 194 400 24 hours a day or you can send us a message via WhatsApp on 07719 558183 (Mon-Fri 9.00am – 5.00pm).

I would like to chat to someone by text

We understand that telephone conversations are not for everyone. Our online chat services is available Mon-Fri 9.00am – 5.00pm. Click here to start a chat now.

I want to learn more about your services for children

If you are just curious about how we support children and young people, you are on the right page. Please click here to find out more.

I want to refer myself or someone else for support or advice

You can make a referral by calling our helpline on 08000 194 400 24 hours a day or via email at referralpoint@havenrefuge.org.uk.

I would like some learning resources

We are currently developing some fun and engaging learning resources for you to download.
Please email media@havenrefuge.org.uk to find out more.

Life in Refuge

When a child comes into one of our refuges they are greeted by a member of staff and given a welcome pack. The pack contains a gift, some information on the sessions we run in refuge and a meet-the-team profile to help children become familiar with the staff who will support them. We show children the play/sensory rooms and explain that we can hold one-to-one sessions and groups sessions.

Most importantly, we let the children know someone is always available, whenever they need to talk. We provide counselling sessions and play therapy sessions among other things with a dedicated team, trained to support children and young people. We understand that for a child, moving into a new environment, leaving behind all their familiar comforts can be especially difficult. We try our best to make life in refuge as “homely” as possible.

For Children