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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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What support is available?

We have lots of different ways of supporting you and your family to recover from your experiences.

You will be asked what support you want and we try our best to offer this, however at times we might decide on a different offer of support; we will explain why this has been chosen over your preferred choice. 


Professional consultation trauma recovery work

You might already have someone you like, trust and get on with well in your life. This might be someone at school/college or a professional working for a service that you already work with. We can support them through a series of meetings to deliver the recovery work to you. The advantages to this is are:

You don't have to meet someone new and tell your story again

You already trust them and meet them regularly and it saves you having to build a relationship with someone from the Phoenix team

The work can start instantly rather than having to wait for one of our team to work with you.


Specialist trauma recovery work

A specialist trauma recovery practitioner can work with you for a long period of time. Everyone's support has a different length. 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 about your abuse if you want to. Whatever you talk about we will listen, believe you and not judge you.

We can help you understand why you might be feeling and behaving differently and help you begin to feel like you are in control again!

We 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 make any changes that you may want to make and help you achieve them.

This support can happen during school/college time, or we can arrange to meet you somewhere else.



Individual counselling provides a safe, non-judgemental space in which you can talk to a trained, experienced trauma counsellor about your thoughts and feelings. We offer counselling for anyone over the age of 13 yrs. Sessions are usually weekly and are either done using virtual secure software or at a private counselling space 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 be wearing their own clothes and no uniform.

They will not be wearing a badge that identifies them as being from the Somerset Phoenix Project and they 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 checking our criteria and downloading the request for support form


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. 


What if there is still an ongoing criminal investigation?

If there is a current investigation then we can offer Pre-Trial Therapeutic Support.

Pre-trial therapeutic support is therapy or therapeutic support that happens between the day when the police receive the report of what happened, and the day the case goes to trial. We can support you, your children & young people emotionally while the investigation goes on exploring emotions and feelings that come up during the investigation.

The well-being of the person receiving support is the most important thing. That’s why having support is always their choice & no-one else’s. The person receiving support will be given information prior to us beginning support about the pre-trail therapeutic process and will be asked to sign a “working agreement”.

If a child/young person has bravely spoken to the police and a criminal investigation has started, The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), (the people who make sure that the court has all the information they need), says that all support service must follow the same guidelines. You can find these guidlines on the CPS website.

If we receive new information about what happened whilst you are receiving support from Phoenix, we may need to give this new information to the police. We will always tell you what we are doing and who we are speaking to.

Sometimes, the police or CPS might ask to see the notes made about your child/young person’s sessions. There are strict rules about when they are allowed to do this:

  • The police & CPS will not be allowed to see all the notes. They can only ask for specific bits of information that they think will help with the investigation or the gathering of evidence.
  • If they do ask to see the notes, we will always ask the person receiving support first whether they want to share them. They do not have to say yes. Sometimes, if they don’t share the notes, the crown court can be asked to make a court order. This would mean the notes have to be shared. It may also mean that some parts of the notes could be seen in court by the defendant.
  • For this reason, Phoenix follows CPS advice to keep session notes short, and not to include unnecessary details.

If you would like more information Pre-Trail Support, you can ask us questions, before you complete a request for support.  -


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