Time for a break
The Honeypot Children’s Charity
They offer both respite breaks and outreach support to young carers and vulnerable children, many of whom would otherwise have nowhere to turn. They are the only charity in the UK offering consistent support throughout childhood; from the age of 5 until a child’s 12th birthday. Of the children they work with 70% will be the principal carer in their family.
Respite breaks are delivered at weekends and during school holidays: 12 children are collected from an agreed location and travel to Honeypot House in the New Forest, where they get to take part in fun activities and spend time away from the stressful responsibilities they face at home. The house is set in seven acres of grounds and provides a wide range of activities including a swimming pool, adventure playground, bikes and pets corner. Honeypots children are offered a yearly weekend visit to the house from 5 until 12 years old, as part of the on-going support offered.
The Honeypot Playbus is a specially adapted mobile play centre, where children who experience similar difficulties and deprivation in their lives meet, play and socialise in a non-judgmental, safe and therapeutic environment, with the support of positive adult role models. Each Honeypot child will be visited three times a year in their own community by the bus. The Playbus has space for arts and crafts, interactive games, dancing, reading, messy play and sensory toys.
Ongoing contact and support
Honeypot maintains contact with each child throughout the year with birthday cards, newsletters, Christmas presents and Christmas parties. For many of the children they support it will be the only present they have.
The Taylor Family Foundation has provided funding for nine years, for 24 children, annually, from the Merton Borough in which we are based to attend Honeypot House respite breaks.
Honeypot staff member:
“A little lad got angry as he was going home and didn’t want to. I sat with him, chatting about his feelings and said that I liked the nice little boy that is inside him and that it would be really nice to see him appear before he went home. I asked if that would be possible?
He replied that he wanted the nice little boy to come out also and with this he said ‘shall I delete him?’. Which I replied, ‘that would be a really good idea!’ with this he pretended to push a button on his top and this lovely little lad who we had seen all holiday re-appeared!! He went home in a better frame of mind and with a big smile not a grumpy face.”
Becky aged 8 from South East of London
“It is nice to see there are others that understand what it is like at home! Having to help look after my brother and Dad whilst Mum goes to work!”
Clare Holloway, Children’s Services Manager, Honeypot
“Seeing children grow and become more confident from the child that was picked up at the start of a respite break; having time to interact with their peers away from their caring responsibilities is a joy to behold! Playing Crazy Squirrel or the Spot Light game hearing children laughing as they try to find each other amongst the trees and bushes; being care free and having time just to be children!”