Published: 00:01, 11 October 2017 |
Updated: 14:28, 11 October 2017
Children suffering emotional trauma after being sexually abused will be helped following a donation from Kent police tsar Matthew Scott.
The police and crime commissioner has presented the NSPCC's Gillingham Service Centre with £35,000, after it successfully applied for a grant.
To mark the centre's 20th anniversary, the charity has invited Mr Scott for a visit later today, to see the work it carries out.
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The cash has gone towards the charity's Letting the Future In service (LTFI), which works with girls and boys aged four to 17 who have been sexually abused.
Over a six-month period, the child meets a practitioner once a week in a special play room at the centre.
They take part in activities such as messy play, writing, storytelling and art.
WATCH: KMTV's Louisa Britton visited a charity which has received £35,000
Since its launch in December 2011, LTFI has helped 153 children to move on from their ordeal.
Sarah Jenner, service manager at the centre, said: "Many children and young people have told us they feel confused and upset about what has happened to them.
"But play is a natural way for children to express themselves.
"It allows them to safely work through past experiences and come to understand and move on from what has happened to them, but it can take up to a year before they're ready to move on.
"Parents and carers of children who have been sexually abused also play vital roles in helping their child recover, so we also offer them individual support and some joint sessions with the child as part of the programme."
In 2015/16 in Kent, there were 853 referrals to children's social care where sexual abuse was identified as the key factor.
Matthew Scott said: "I am delighted to have been invited to the Gillingham Service Centre to meet those on the frontline who help children through their darkest times."
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