Every year, around a thousand children aged 7 to 14 are helped at one of Denmark’s five Christmas Seal Homes. The common factor for the great majority of them is that they are unhappy because of loneliness, bullying and social isolation.
“These children need a lot of help to turn their lives around to a happy childhood with friends and playdates. They can get that help at the Christmas Seal Homes, and with the support from the Vissing Foundation we will be able to help more children,” says Mette Grovermann from the Christmas Seal Foundation.
The Christmas Seal Homes give children and their families a chance to make a new start. The children stay at a Christmas Seal Home for ten weeks, together with other children who are also working on their challenges.
“A clear framework, new communities and the right combination of healthy food and exercise help the children to find their strengths. They build up self-esteem by learning new ways of looking at themselves and the world,” explains Mette Grovermann.
Before, during and after the stay at a home, the parents’ support is quite crucial if a child is to fulfil the intentions of staying at a home and maintain the good results in the longer term.
“So we require parental involvement throughout the process, with participation in parents’ days and weekend assignments, which they carry out with their child. We also work with the children’s schools and local authorities to make sure the child gets the best possible support when they come back after a stay at a home,” says Mette Grovermann.