Southmead Project is a registered charity providing free therapeutic and practical support to adults who were abused as children and have turned to drugs, alcohol and other ways of self-harming as a consequence of that trauma.
Based in North Bristol the charity provides one-one counselling as well as group programmes for survivors of child abuse and trauma, is active in research; runs very successful group programmes for parents, carers and concerned others of those affected by addiction, and delivers training programmes in abuse, addiction and disclosure across the UK.
The charity has developed working partnerships with the corporate sector, the statutory sector and the non-statutory sector with specific aims to enhance training and employment prospects for service users.
Southmead Plan 2015
The Southmead area of North Bristol has a well-documented, long history of poverty and deprivation. Analysis from Bristol’s Joint Strategic Needs Analysis (updated 2014) reports Southmead falls within the most deprived 10% areas in England and has the lowest life expectancy in Bristol. Unemployment is above the Bristol average.
The recently undertaken “Southmead Plan 2015”, a survey undertaken by residents and partners, completed by 875 individuals, evidences;
- High levels of domestic violence impacting on children and young people.
- Residents identified alcohol misuse, mental health issues, money worries and social isolation as having negative impacts on family life.
- Residents identified the main factors affecting their health included drug misuse (48%) and alcohol misuse (42%)
It was against this backdrop that the charity was formed in 1994 and now within this community Southmead Project addresses long-term mental health issues experienced by those subjected to extreme levels of physical, sexual, emotional, environmental and/or financial abuse in childhood and who have turned to drugs, alcohol or other ways of self-harming in order to suppress emotions that follow such trauma. Many in this category will have low levels of self-esteem and confidence, an inability to engage emotionally with others including their own children compounded by extremely poor employment prospects.