Leapfrog Goes From ‘Strength to Strength’

A Wirral charity which supports mums and children who are the victims of domestic abuse has been able to go from “strength to strength” thanks to the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The Leapfrog programme, run by the Involve Northwest charity, is a project for young people aged between five and 15, and their parent carer (generally mother), which provides a safe and neutral place to talk about their experiences with the support of experienced workers.

A three-year grant totalling £90,000 has just come to an end, having helped with a variety of the charity’s activities including the salary of a Family Support Worker to deliver the project,  transport  for the families involved, rent and costs for the staff office, venue hire for the project and ‘celebration days’ out for the Mums and children.

“It is due to The Steve Morgan Foundation funding that the Leapfrog Programme has been able to continue running for the last three years,” explains Lia Robinson, Deputy CEO with Involve Northwest.

“Leapfrog is the only Domestic Abuse programme in Merseyside that supports both children and Mums, and this funding has given 186 children the opportunity to speak out about their experiences and support other children to do the same.

“It has enabled the children to learn strategies to keep themselves safe, build their self-confidence, identify positive and negative relationship behaviours and hopefully stop the cycle of abuse continuing into their futures.

“For Mums the programme has supported them to identify how domestic abuse has affected them and their children, re-established their own personal power within the family dynamic, and developed their relationships with their children and a nurturing family environment.

“By supporting Mums to make positive decisions around future relationships and avoid future abusive situations, we have been able to ensure that their children should not be exposed to future harm from domestic abuse.”

The Leapfrog programme has filled the gap left by the closure of the Zero Centre, another charity helping the victims of domestic abuse which had previously been supported by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The programme lasts ten weeks and can support ten families at a time, and there is regularly a waiting list.

As well as encouraging the children to talk through their experiences, the Leapfrog programme also includes activities such as arts and crafts and the celebration days which have featured new experiences such as visits to play centres, crabbing, adventure activities and a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

Many of the children who have benefitted from the charity’s work have sent a thank you card to the Steve Morgan Foundation, and the Leapfrog Programme is currently able to continue at the same level thanks to a local authority grant secured until the end of next March.

“The grant has made a massive difference to the Leapfrog Programme,” adds Lia.

“We would not have been able to deliver the 18 programmes without the funding and the whole project would have closed, leaving Wirral without any domestic abuse provision for children,

“That would have meant leaving 186 children without vital support to deal with their experiences.

“Mums would have been left to cope with the children’s behaviour and their own emotional difficulties and the cycle of domestic abuse could have continued for many of the families into the future.

“The Steve Morgan Foundation has enabled the Leapfrog Programme to go from strength to strength.

“It supported Leapfrog to build on resilience by allowing staff contracts to be extended, enabling us to develop the programme to adapt to the needs of the families worked with.

“This funding has been able to support a safe place for Mums and children to talk about their experiences, move on with their lives and grow in confidence without the past continuing to hurt them.

“It is a privilege to work with these families and to have their trust and watch them move on with their lives, let go of their pasts and come out from under the cloud of everything domestic abuse brings.

“To see Mums and children learning to open up to each other, understand each other again and re-establish their family bonds is a pleasure, and we could not have done this without the invaluable support of the Steve Morgan Foundation.”



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