The purpose of The Miracle Foundation is to provide support to children and young people, aged between 5 and 19, who are affected by a bereavement or trauma. Our service is based in North Lanarkshire and the areas which we serve can be described as one of the most deprived areas in Scotland. We offer counselling and art therapy via one to one and group sessions to help young people work through their feelings. Our aim is to facilitate early intervention in bereavement and trauma support, our service is free for our beneficiaries to aid those who cannot afford the cost of private counselling.
The organisation was born upon our founder's own grief, they felt that accessing services for bereavement and trauma support for their family was extremely difficult as waiting lists for the NHS and CAMHS was 10-12 months. They now wish to create a service where families can be supported through early intervention of a bereavement or trauma.
Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed an increase of referrals and the intensity of the disadvantages faced by children and young people (C&YP) we support through:
• C&YP losing loved ones due to COVID-19;
• C&YP where COVID-19 has reactivated old feelings of grief and loss;
• C&YP with fear and anxiety surrounding losing members of their family;
• C&YP with an increase of attachment difficulties including separation anxiety;
• C&YP struggling with their mental health due to the impact of COVID-19 on everyday life.
Additionally, we have also had an increase in referrals from statutory organisations as a result of COVID-19 having a negative impact on family lives. The complexity of referrals we are receiving have also increased and include child protection, families in refuge, family splits and poverty (e.g., money, food and utilities).
We anticipate these referrals will continue to increase and demands on our service will continue to grow particularly as children return to school and disclose experiences and share their worries with their teachers, school nurses etc.
While our organisation specialise in providing bereavement and trauma counselling and art therapy support for children and young people, we recognise the need for those suffering from mental health issues as a result of COVID-19. Despite our criteria and limited resources, we want to be able to help and support as many children and young people struggling at this time. One way we feel this can be achieved is through the provision of peer support. Whether in person or through virtual means, children and young people can have help and support by a trained support worker one to one or through associating with others in a group who have had similar experiences with mental health and illness during the pandemic.
The funding we obtain will be used to support The Miracle Foundation in providing the resources, time and effort to make this project possible. Potential examples may be in the form of hiring staff, supporting volunteers, providing transport, activities, equipment, or hiring facilities. We want to be able to provide a safe, secure and enjoyable environment for our young people to gain support from one another.