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Supporting Children Through Family Breakdown

Emma Cohn is an experienced drama therapist who works with children who have been bereaved and noticed that many families were separating and often children were left to cope alone. She also noticed that these children experienced a lot of loss when families separated; they not only had to deal with the separation itself but many also experienced on-going changes when they were introduced to new partners and/or step siblings. After noticing these affects upon the children, Emma went on to research what support was available to these children and found that it was truly lacking. So when Emma met Stacey Hart they realised that there was an opportunity for them to reach out and provide specific support to those children who were experiencing family breakdown.

When Emma Met Stacey

At the time when Emma met Stacey, they were both working with bereaved children and they soon realised that with their combined experience they could provide much more. Stacey had also worked with both adults and children as a counsellor for 10 years and Emma was qualified in drama and movement therapy. Emma covered areas such as confidence building, communication difficulties, stress and more. To cut a long story short, Emma and Stacey decided to set up a social enterprise called akidspace to enable them to reach out and fill the need to support children through family breakdown.

Aims of akidspace

The main aim of akidspace is to help children deal with family breakdown through play-based therapy whilst at the same time gain support from other children who are experiencing a similar situation. This is a unique programme where they use lots of creative techniques and Emma said how “…wonderful it is to watch the children support each other…”. They have also received amazing testimonials from both parents and children who have indicated the benefits of attending. As well as helping children express their feelings, they equip them with coping skills to help them manage and adjust to their new family structure. It’s an amazing programme! The workshops that are held at akidspace are currently taking place in Covent Garden on two consecutive Saturdays. This is an ideal location as parents can drop their kids off and then have a lovely morning to themselves in the heart of Covent Garden.

Even though many travel far and wide to attend the akidspace workshops, Emma and Stacey realise that not everyone is able to travel to London. Due to this fact, they are now providing training to other organisations so that all children within the UK can have access to the same support that is available in London. They have been training these organisations on how to set up support for children going through family breakdown and those who receive this training also receive a comprehensive manual that incorporates all aspects of setting up and running these groups. So their second, and very important, aim is to reach out to many more children throughout the UK who need this valuable support.

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