23 February 2017
The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children opened a new Bright Space for the Met Police at Barkingside on 15th February 2017.
Bright Spaces are the signature initiative of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, whose specific goal is to help children and families in crisis. Working with local communities, shelters and Bright Horizons clients, the Foundation are able to build stimulating spaces equipped with resourced bookshelves, games, toys and more for children of all ages. The Bright Space programme aims to create and support warm, enriching spaces within the community that provide children and families in need with a special place to play, have fun and most of all feel safe.
This Bright Space is the 10th provided by the Bright Horizons for Children in partnership with the Metropolitan Police. It is located in the waiting area of the Achieving Best Evidence Suite, used by the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Team. The space is designed to help victims of abuse to feel comfortable and safe, before providing video evidence, used to prosecute the perpetrators.
The Foundation and its volunteers have created a homely and welcoming environment which provides these vulnerable children with the opportunity to relax and play, to help them feel comfortable.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Detective Inspector, Michael Dougal said, “As the lead for this project, I wish to highlight and thank all the staff involved in this fantastic piece of partnership work between the Bright Horizons Foundation and Metropolitan Police Service. This work benefits children, enabling them to play in a child familiar environment with toys, books and other equipment provided by the Foundation. This allows the most vulnerable to feel safe and comfortable, and allows specialist Child Abuse Investigators to secure best evidence from them to either prove or disprove a suspect’s involvement in an investigation. This evidence is captured by video and supports the prosecution of offenders by being played as evidence at any subsequent Court hearing.
Tracy Wilkes-Green, the Foundation’s Bright Space Manager says, “We are thrilled to have opened this Bright Space for Barkingside Met. We are very proud of our partnership with the Metropolitan Police and to be supporting them in keeping the children of London safe.”
About the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children
Set up in 2005, the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children’s sole purpose is to help children and families experiencing disadvantage and crisis, as a result of domestic violence, parental imprisonment, child abuse and ill health.
Our Bright Spaces are indoor and outdoor play environments in homeless shelters, domestic violence refuges, refugee centres, child protection interview suites in police stations, hospitals, hospices and visiting areas in prisons. They provide children with the opportunity to play, learn, build positive relationships and heal from trauma in a place of safety.
For further details and images, please contact:
Bright Horizons Public Relations and Engagement Executive