James’ Story

James was referred to The Haven Wolverhampton after he and his mom were subjected to domestic abuse by his mom’s partner.  

He told us how The Haven supported him to talk openly about his feelings, and how he loved accessing Virtual Reality (VR) therapy.  

VR therapy is one of the most well-received services we offer to children like James at The Haven. 85% of have said that they prefer this kind of play-based therapy to the standard counselling they had received in the past. 100% have said it is the best thing they have tried and would like it to be more readily available to them when they are distressed.  

M

y mom and I left the house we shared with mom’s partner to live with family because he wasn’t a very nice person. He used to shout and upset me, so I was glad to leave. 

But the house we went to was really full, and we didn’t have any space. That’s when The Haven started helping us. 

I really wanted my own room and my own space and didn’t feel very happy where I was.  

My support worker met with me every week to talk about how I was feeling – I felt frustrated and upset when I first started. But she was really friendly and kind. She asked if I wanted to try some Virtual Reality (VR) activities, and I said I’d love to. 

I’d always wanted to go to a theme park, but I’d never been. So my support worker helped me to go on a rollercoaster in VR instead! It was amazing to go on huge rollercoasters, go under the water and walk on the moon. 

My support worker helped me to feel safe and to feel like I could tell her how I was feeling.  

Our support worker also helped us to find somewhere of our own to live and I had my own bedroom. I was so happy to not be in a crowded house. And I even got to choose my own new bedding – with characters from my favourite game on it. 

I really enjoyed the sessions I had with my support worker and I really like our new house. 

I know now that I can talk about how I’m feeling, and talking really helps. 

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Life in Refuge

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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.

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