In my eyes, children are the heroes of their therapy journey, as a play therapist, I facilitate and hold the space but it’s the child that turns up week after week and do the hard work to heal and realign their body – that’s a privilege for me to watch, to sit beside. It is always a joyous process after the hard work when layer after layer the real child starts to emerge grasping tight a newly found strong identity and awareness where their place is in this world.
I am so excited to launch our clothing line for children called Little WayMaker as an income generation stream to raise funds for children to access Play & Creative Arts Therapy.
It all started in a journey of self-employment opening a professional play therapist business in Ballymena. It became apparent to me very quickly that many families fell outside the gap of receiving support as they couldn’t afford to pay for their children.
The stats I knew existed became very real in front of me each day. I felt strongly that every child should access the highly qualified professional help they need regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.
75% of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment
The Guardian 2017
More than 20% of young people are suffering significant mental health problems by the time they reach 18
DHSSPS, 2010; Khan, 2016
Rates of mental ill-health are estimated to be 25% higher in NI than in other parts of the UK
When the first lockdown came, I decided to use my fifteen years of experience working in the public service to set up a not-for-profit organisation. Since its formation in November 2020, the social enterprise has taken off a storm, now offering Play & Creative Arts Therapy in several locations throughout Northern Ireland including Ballymena, Belfast, Newtownabbey, and Antrim.
To help the organisation become financially resilient, I created a new range of clothing called Little WayMaker, which has just launched and aims to help children and families contribute to mental health by purchasing the products. 100% of profits go towards children receiving professional support. I have a huge dream to help rewrite the mental health of children in Northern Ireland, and these products help to start this dream.
I felt it essential to source the products ethically and ensure Little WayMaker products are locally stitched so I was delighted when Sarah Thompson, owner of Ted & Stitch agreed to become our partner of choice for social responsibility. Sarah is also a valued member of the board of directors for the organisation.
I am delighted to launch a range of products to empower families to help contribute to the mental health of children in Northern Ireland. I approached Sarah before the first lockdown and was delighted when she immediately came on board with my idea. Her expertise in retail has been essential throughout the process.”
Sarah Thompson commented, “I am looking forward to seeing the difference we can make to Children’s Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland. I have seen the positive impact play therapy can have first-hand with my own family through the trauma we have experienced. Uniting forces with WayMaker is not only exciting but encouraging as we strive to create a professional service that every child can access.”
To find out more about Little WayMaker products and the services offered by WayMaker Child Therapy, head over to www.waymakerchildtherapy.co.uk/shop
Founder WayMaker Child Therapy CIC
We are dellighted to offically announce we are now a not for profit social enterprise with a huge heart to transform the mental health of children in Northern Ireland through the healing power of play by providing high quality Play and Creative Arts therapy. Play Therapy is a form of counselling which helps children heal from difficult feelings and upsetting events.
1 in 10 children in Northern Ireland have a mental illness
75% of children with a mental illness are not receiving treatment
Rates of mental health in Northern Ireland are 25% worse that any other part of the UK
WE ARE A MOVEMENT CREATING FREEDOM FOR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
JOIN OUR MOVEMENT
You can help contribute to the healing of a child by donating what you can.
Children are our future and we want to empower you to contribute to help transform the life of a child in Northern Ireland because the mental health of every child matters. We support vulnerable children to overcome emotional and behavioural difficulties through Play & Creative Arts Therapy.
There is no ‘quick fix’ and we believe that every child deserves to have access to high-quality support regardless of their circumstances. To do this we provide therapists who are specifically trained to work with children and highly trained. It takes £50 to provide a session for a child which contributes towards deep healing, putting a stop generational cycles of hurt and trauma.
THIS IS AN INVESTMENT
For every £1 spent returns £9 in social return for future generations
JOIN OUR MOVEMENT TODAY BU DONATING WHAT YOU CAN HERE
What do you see when you look at your reflection? Chances are you see something different than others. Often we are hardest on ourselves; others see beauty whilst we focus on the small things that don’t quite fit right, that don’t look the way we want them or the way they used to.
Amid this pandemic that’s all around us, there is a genuine opportunity for us to press the reset button and move forward into a new routine, a more connected and rested family unit and not back to what we had.
As a play therapist at the beginning of this pandemic, my advice to parents was to allow space for lots unstructured play as a priority in lockdown and homeschooling to take up a smaller part of every day. I saw it as an opportunity for my children to develop their unstructured play which I knew would help them process their current situation and develop their imagination. However, I never once pondered the power of them learning to be still.