Kibble celebrates 20 years of healing and hope

Date Posted: 10 Oct, 2023

More than 1,500 children have benefited from a unique support service offered by Kibble which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The charity’s Specialist Intervention Services has grown from a small-scale project in 2003, into a holistic and dynamic therapeutic service which helps around 75 children and young people a year who have experienced trauma.

SIS uses a range of therapies including play and art therapy to offer alternative methods of expression, helping children overcome the complex emotions and coping mechanisms which have developed after experiencing abuse.

Claire McCartney, Kibble’s Operations Manager, joined the organisation in 2003 and led the development of SIS, which is open to children from across the UK and continues to grow.

Celebrating 20 years of work with Kibble alongside the 20th birthday of SIS, Claire said: “It’s incredible to think that 20 years have passed since I started at Kibble with SIS.

“The service has changed so much but that’s a testament to our constant commitment to achieving our central objective, which has always remained the same – to help children recover from trauma and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

“When you consider that most children in our care have experienced complex trauma through emotional neglect or physical or abuse – sometimes at the hands of their carers– qualifying ‘success’ in can be nuanced.

“If you don’t have that safety and security early on, how you see the world is greatly impacted further down the line and putting words to emotions is very difficult.

“At SIS, something as simple as seeing a child smile for the first time after weeks of therapy can be a massive breakthrough, and it’s our job to understand that and give them a new experience of relationships that can be healthy and safe.”

SIS’s therapy provides a space for young people to present their feelings through expression. This can initially be through art or play but this begins to build a therapeutic relationship from a sense of emotional containment and helps them open-up about their feelings.

From there, the team of qualified therapists and psychologists at Kibble can offer further supports.

Untangling the impact of trauma at a young age is crucial to creating a pathway to recovery and SIS has developed over the past two decades to provide new ways for young people to express themselves. Over that time, Kibble itself has also developed, expanding its operations and services to respond to changing demands.

With SIS now in its 20th year, the charity is continuing that expansion to meet the growing demand to support young people who have endured adverse childhood experiences.

Jim Gillespie, Kibble CEO (pictured) said: “Helping 1,500 children across 20 years is an achievement we’re rightfully proud of and we’re indebted to people like Claire and the team in SIS.

“However, this milestone is an equally poignant reminder of the ongoing need for support for children in our sector. SIS is just one of a range of supports available at Kibble where every day we strive to create a safe and nurturing environment where young people can express themselves and embark on a journey of healing and recovery.

“As Specialist Intervention Services enters its next chapter, Kibble remains committed to our overall mission of transforming lives and fostering hope for a brighter future. The 20th anniversary celebration serves as both a reflection of past accomplishments and hopefully an inspiration for the continued growth and evolution of this vital service.”