A Time To Heal
DANDELION Time supports children aged 5-14 experiencing serious emotional and behavioural difficulties.
From its farm near Maidstone, the charity delivers therapeutic programmes that engage the child alongside their carer/s in land-based crafts, animal care, farming and cooking.
A £26,000 grant from Wooden Spoon Kent enabled them to transform an old stable into a craft studio, which will support more than 125 families a year.
The craft studio was opened by Kent president Mick Skinner.
Family case worker at Dandelion Time, Rachel Rodwell, describes how the craft studio is already helping families:
“I’ve been working a lot with clay this week in the Wooden Spoon craft area. “I have a child who finds it hard to voice how they feel. They were playing with clay, exploring, with no expectation to create anything. Through describing the sensory properties of the clay, the anxious child became relaxed. The parent and child started laughing together – because it was ridiculously messy. “We got the potter’s wheel out, but we couldn’t control the clay. It was an analogy, we said life can be like this too – messy, and out of control. I observed the child stopping fighting the clay, he kept his hand still and a pot materialised.”
Rachel loves the setting for Dandelion Time:
“It’s a space within nature, a safe space, it looks beautiful and it’s a little hub where children can explore without getting things wrong, and for children with very low self esteem, it is wonderful. It’s the animals as well. We had a child who was selectively mute, and yet she started talking to our donkey, whispering to the donkey while she stroked the soft ears. “A lot of the children that come to us come from trauma backgrounds and families that have experience domestic abuse. Also, we have children with ASD or ADHD, when children are struggling with behaviour sometimes emotional attachment becomes quite difficult. “During the pandemic, with lockdown, we’ve seen a big increase in anxiety-based behaviour in children. It’s about building relationship and helping the carers and parents.”
If you would like to find out more about the activities of Wooden Spoon Kent and how you can get involved please contact the committee on firstname.lastname@example.org