It has been a difficult year for many children. Education and family life have been severely disrupted by the pandemic, particularly during the periods of school closures. Many believe we are just beginning to see the full impact of this on our children’s mental health.

It is against this background that Munira visited The Purple Elephant Project.  Founded in 2019, the charity is dedicated to supporting children and their families affected by anxiety, bereavement, abuse and developmental trauma. Through specialist therapeutic services which include play therapy and art therapy, they work to transform lives thereby enabling children to reach their full potential. The Purple Elephant Project offer subsidised outreach services within Richmond and Hounslow schools, and therapy services from their specially designed centre in Twickenham.

Following the visit Munira said:

“It was a privilege to meet Jenny Haylock, Founder and CEO of The Purple Elephant Project, and to gain an insight into the incredible work they are doing in providing therapeutic interventions to children and much needed support for families in need.  I was moved by the very real difference this work can make to the lives of our children.

“I have previously called upon the Government to provide additional funding for children’s mental health charities.  In a letter to Matt Hancock I also requested the Government publish a long-term strategy covering the services which will be required as the pandemic abates. Speaking to Jenny it has highlighted how desperately a long-term funding plan is needed.  

“I will continue to fight for children’s mental health services to be funded properly”

During the visit, Jenny explained how play therapy provides a safe way for children to explore their thoughts and emotions which may be too difficult to express in words.

Jenny said:

“With the support of trained therapists, children can tackle complex and often painful circumstances. We understand and listen, to improve young lives, helping children to reach their potential, and parents and carers to feel supported.   

“Quite often, the hour when their children are in therapy, is the only time in a day when parents get a chance to stop. We focus on listening to parents who need to talk and provide an environment where they too feel safe and supported.”    

The Purple Elephant Project is currently recruiting for a chairperson and new trustees. If you feel you might have the right skills to contribute to this worthwhile cause, please contact Jenny Haylock at