Our Safe Havens school programme runs for 12 sessions with a ratio of 1:5 and begins with Margaret telling the children Jimmy’s story. Importantly, Margaret answers any questions the children might have about Jimmy and this helps to create a safe atmosphere to explore their feelings. After this, the children are introduced to our peer mentor team; young adults who are committed to helping children and making the community a safer, more peaceful place. The peer mentors will guide the children and act as role models throughout the programme. Having experienced Jimmy’s story and met the peer mentors, the children are now ready to become Peace Builders by building Safe Havens.
“I have seen a huge improvement in the pupils attitudes to learning; more positive and trying really hard. They are more focused, polite, confident… role models for all the others.”
Janet Emmanuel, Assistant Head, Sydenham Girls
Safe Havens are shops and local businesses that children can turn to in times of need and are identifiable by a sticker on the window. If a child feels threatened or in danger they can enter a Safe Haven and the shopkeeper will agree to lock the door and call a parent, guardian or the police. This fosters a sense of mutual care and responsibility between children and adults in the community. A shop or business agrees to become a Safe Haven after being asked by the children we work with if they would like to be involved. We encourage the children to ask them in their own way, and find this leads to a natural relationship forming between the children and the shopkeepers.