Play Therapy Base providing child-centred support for emotional distress

Wednesday September 14th 2022


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Play Therapy Base is one of those charities that quietly and carefully go about doing great work. If you are not directly involved or do not use their services then you probably have not heard about them. So please read this article and if you can please consider supporting their Kilt Walk.

This article is written by Linda Cuthbert, Service Manager Play Therapy Base

Play Therapy Base is a Midlothian homegrown children’s mental health charity. Set up in 2011 by 2 Play Therapists who lived and worked in Midlothian in response to a growing need for child-centred support for children aged 3-14 years experiencing emotional distress. A small team of 4 therapists started working in Midlothian. Now in 2022, there is a team of 14 staff at Play Therapy Base; the ten therapists deliver weekly sessions from the two playrooms in Eskbank or out in community settings.

Play Therapy is a special way for children to learn about their world through using toys. Some children choose to explore things they find challenging, or that are worrying them, through playing. For some it is a chance to practice sharing and turn-taking skills so they can build new friendships. For other children, play therapy sessions may provide a space to have time on their own without chaos or interruptions.

Talking therapies can be hard for children. In play therapy, children can use materials around them to express themselves, whether through creating artwork, enacting scenarios with puppets or playing games.

Play Therapy Base continued to support Midlothian families over both Covid lockdowns moving immediately to remote calls and zoom check-ins.

We supported 322 children through 1 to 1 therapy and emotional check-ins over the period of April 2021/ March 22 and also delivered 1300 lunchtime drop-in slots. The service received 179 new referrals in this period.

On Sunday, the 18th September we have a team taking part in the Edinburgh Kiltwalk to raise funds to keep our service and playrooms running. Our 13 walkers comprise of staff, Board of Trustees and friends. If you can spare a small donation, it will grow as the Tom Hunter Foundation will contribute 50% of the total funds raised by PTB. A £10 donation will grow to £15.

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