Pace is the leading UK charity working with parents and carers of sexually exploited children. For over 21 years we have provided support and advice to families experiencing sexual exploitation from perpetrators outside of the family.
For the last 15 years we have provided parent network days: a space to reflect and relax with other parents who understand what it is for a family to experience child sexual exploitation. Over 500 parents have attended these days.
A typical day will feature a morning of small group sharing sessions where parents can talk about any issues they are facing to both lend and receive support from others. After a lunch where parents can get to know each other better, the afternoon comprises workshops on special topics such as creative exercises, discussions for actions parents would like to take or brainstorming for tools and tips.
Feedback has always been excellent:
"Thank you so much for all the help you have given me. Attending that day was life changing for me. I can't explain how much it has helped, just being able to talk to people who understand"
"I tried to imagine what today would be like but I couldn’t and now I understand why. I met some wonderful people today all with such strong inner strength. Everyone had their own sad sinister story to share but you gave us the chance to express ourselves without being judged. You also allowed us to empathize with each other. This was so important for me and I felt safe in sharing. I didn’t think I would."
By the end of the day, parents often feel reluctant to leave, having started to open up, gain the trust of others, offload and relieve some of the strain. Isolation has given way for connection. Time and time again, parents have asked if we have the capacity to provide a longer stay. We agree that this would be hugely beneficial, but sadly, as a very small organisation we have never had the budget.
With feedback like the above from just one day, imagine what we could achieve in two.
We want to provide a two-day retreat where in addition to what we already do, parents can take the opportunity to slow things down and prolong those meaningful, life-changing and sometimes life-saving conversations. They will have more space, more time, more support, more chance to connect, more chance to gain coping skills, more chance to understand what's happening in their lives, more chance to breathe.
We know that in two days the lives of parents, and subsequently their children, will change.
£7500 will provide:
- one night's accommodation, four meals, and refreshments between sessions for 30 parents in a discrete and peaceful location.
- the wages of our support staff who are highly experienced and trained in therapeutically supporting families affected by CSE
- specialist guest speakers
- the travel expenses of all parents, who will be joining us from all over the country.
- resources for parents to take away, which will help reinforce the learning from the weekend.
Thank you for reading, and your support.