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Somerset Phoenix Project

Working alongside professionals and supporting children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse.

A specialist service supporting the development of professionals in Somerset. We are here to reduce the negative impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the lives of children and families living in Somerset

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About Somerset Phoenix Project

Who are the Somerset Phoenix Project?

We are a service who works with children, young people aged 1-18 years and their families who are living in Somerset.

We provide support in different ways, including working directly with you, but also by supporting your parents/carers, teachers, social workers, and other professionals in your life.

We are a joint project between Barnardo’s and SARSAS, more information about both of these charities can be found here:


What does the Somerset Phoenix Project Do?


  • Helps children and young people (counselling, 1:1 Specialist Support or Creative Therapies)
  • Helps parents and carers. We work with ‘safe carers’ in groups or individually. We can invite them to our parent groups or provide 1:1 support. From April 2020 we can also offer them counselling, email support or a drop in service.
  • Helps professionals (like teachers, PFSA’s, social workers, etc). This can be through training them or providing professional consultation so they can understand and help children/young people in the best way they can.

All our work is about helping you to recover from sexual abuse. We feel that sometimes the best way we can do this is to help the adults in your life to feel more confident in supporting you.


What does Specialist Support Work Look Like?

A Specialist Support Worker can work with you for up to 24 sessions. We are trained in working with young people who have experienced trauma and sexual abuse. The sessions can be creative and/or playful and you can decide what sort of activities you do.  There is no pressure to talk about painful experiences but you can talk to us if you want to, whatever you talk about we will listen, not judge you and will believe you.

They can work with you to identify things in your life you may be finding difficult, for example issues in school, problems with family members etc. We will support you to set goals of your choice and help you achieve them.

We can provide support, advice, guidance and understanding. We may be able to help you understand why you may be feeling the way you are feeling and give you tips/advice on how to manage this.


What does Counselling look like?

Counselling provides a safe, non-judgemental space in which you can talk to a trained, experienced trauma counsellor about your thoughts and feelings.  It will be at one of the private counselling spaces around Somerset at the same time and place every week.

Counsellors will work with you at your own pace and will not advise you on what to do, but support and empower you to find your own answers, in order to help you cope and recover.

A counsellor will usually offer 12-24 sessions, for 50 minutes once a week.

Do people need to know I am getting support from the Somerset Phoenix Project?

Not if you don’t want them to. If you are receiving support from a Specialist Support Worker and they visit you at school they will not wear a badge that identifies them as being from the Somerset Phoenix Project and will say they are ‘from Barnardo’s.’ If you have more questions about confidentiality then we can answer those for you when we discuss the best way to support you.


How do I get support from the Somerset Phoenix Project?

You can request support from the Phoenix Project by filling out this form (linked) or ask a parent to do it for you (linked) or a professional working with you like your teacher, social worker, support worker, school counsellor, etc. (linked)

You can also call the SARSAS helpline and talk to a trained volunteer about wanting support. Their number is:

Women & Girls – 0808 801 0456

Mondays & Fridays 11am – 2pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 6pm – 8.30pm

Men & Boys – 0808 801 0464

Mondays 11am – 2pm
Tuesday 6pm – 8.30pm


What happens if I change my mind?

You can change your mind about receiving support at any point; we just ask that you let us know. You can also change your mind and ask for support again sometime in the future. Again you just need to contact us and let us know what you want.


Will you talk to anyone else about what I share with you?

In your assessment we will talk to you about confidentiality and answer any questions you may have. We will ask you who you are comfortable with us talking to and sharing information with. If you share with us some new information which makes us feel like you or someone else is going to come to harm in some way we may need to share this in order to protect you from further harm. We will explain this to you at the time and talk to you about what is happening and take your views into consideration. 

Barnardo's is a charity (216250 / SC037605) and a company limited by guarantee.
(61625 England - see the governing document). Registered office: Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 1QG | VAT number 507477337