Each year we support hundreds of children who are experiencing the effects of trauma, mostly as a result of sexual abuse. Children often struggle to understand their thoughts and feelings, which can have a significant effect on their psychological well-being, and can make them feel that they are strange and not normal. Most of their families and carers also do not understand what their children are going through, and whilst they are desperate to support them, they often feel powerless to help.
With your help we want to create an illustrated children's storybook for children and their families which explains the effects of trauma in an age appropriate way. The book is called "Helping the Hare Who Hurts" and will use woodland animals as the characters in the story. Using "Hare" as the central character, the book will explain how a child might feel after trauma and explain some of the effects of this such as flashbacks, nightmares, being unable to sleep, anxiety, feeling low and being on edge.
Different forest creatures help Hare by explaining to him why he feels the way he does. They help him to understand these feelings and give him strategies to cope and to feel better.
One of the creatures Hare meets is Mrs. Dormouse. Mrs. Dormouse helps Hare to sleep again by offering ideas for calming and relaxation, she also helps Hare to think about his dreams so that he is not so scared of going to sleep anymore. Apparently Mrs. Dormouse snores alot! Hare starts to not fear going to sleep and he talks to the other creatures about the bad dreams he has been having. He also uses relaxation techniques before going to bed and he finds that this helps him to go to sleep and to feel better in the morning .
Helping the Hare who Hurts will provide families with an excellent interactive way of increasing understanding, teaching coping skills, and providing an opportunity for communicating and supporting each other. From our feedback from parents & carers, it is clear that there is a high demand for this kind of book. The following quotes are typical of the kind of things we hear:
“We avoided talking about things and the atmosphere in the house got worse as we all tried to cope with our own feelings. I desperately wanted to help my little girl but I didn't know how. I felt angry about what had happened and I also felt very guilty even though it wasn’t my fault.” (Mother of a 8-year-old client)
“I couldn’t talk to my parents. I felt ashamed and spent most of the time in my bedroom. My mum and dad were arguing a lot and I thought it was my fault.” (10-year-old client)
Last year alone we supported more than 800 children and young people, however, inevitably there are often waiting lists for our specialist counselling services. We want to be able to offer a copy of the book for every child currently in therapy and for every child currently on our waiting list. The book will not only be an invaluable therapeutic resource for children and their parents/carers, but it will also be a good story that children will enjoy and want to read again and again.
At the moment Helping the Hare who Hurts is just an idea and some blank pages.Please help us to make this a reality. Thank you.
About the Author:
The idea for the book came from Lilith Gough who is one of our Art Psychotherapists. Lilith works with children as young as 3 who have experienced trauma, and uses a range of creative therapies to help them to express their feelings and recover from their experiences. As well as being a qualified Art Psychotherapist, Lilith also has a Masters Degree in Printmaking (MFA), which will enable her to combine her knowledge and experience of therapy with her artistic skills to illustrate and develop the book.
Tweet a picture & win a Prize!!!!!
During our crowdfunding campaign we will be tweeting regularly and encouraging people who have made donations to post a "Bunny ears" photo with the caption "I helped the hare who hurts!" or for group photos, "We helped the hare who hurts!" Your photos should look something like this!:
At the end of the campaign will be awarding a signed copy of the book Helping the Hare that Hurts for the best individual photo and also one for the best group photo. Runners up will receive a signed limited edition print of one of the characters from the book.
Our twitter address is @newpathways_ so get tweeting and show us your bunny ears!!
If you would like to know more about the work of New Pathways and our subsidiary charity Mid Wales Rape Support Centre please visit our websites: