Self-help weekends

In addition to facilitating the set up of local self-help groups, S:VOX also runs weekends based on the self-help model. By coming together, individuals can find (and give) support, strength, solidarity and voice. Self-help groups are not therapy or a substitute for professional / medical help.


Who are Self Help Weekends for

Depending on demand, the weekends may be attended by survivors only or be a mix of both survivors and their supporters, with the two groups primarily meeting separately, but with some time to come together over the weekend.

The survivor groups during the weekend are run by survivors for anyone who has experienced abuse as a child or adult. e.g. child sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, bullying, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault.

The supporter groups during the weekend are for anyone who is supporting a survivor of any type of abuse experienced as a child or adult. This could be a friend, spouse or partner, sibling, child, parent, foster carer, social / support worker etc.


Who runs the weekends?

The self-help weekends are organised by S:VOX volunteers who act as peer facilitators during the event. They will have sufficient level of understanding and skill to facilitate the weekend but, in line with the self-help model, are not there as professionals but as people who share common experience with other participants.

The weekends are run in carefully chosen residential settings such as a retreat centre, holiday cottage, or other host venue. Depending on the venue, some level of ‘pitching in’ with cooking etc may be needed by participants.


What are the aims of an S:VOX Weekend?

  1. To provide a safe space for survivors of abuse and their supporters to talk, listen and be listened to

  2. To support each other in our healing and growth as human beings

  3. To help break the silence, shame and isolation surrounding abuse

  4. To help each other find strength and solidarity and to support each other in the process of recovering from the impact of abuse

  5. To help develop skills to be functional and effective in our relationship with ourselves and others

  6. To help develop positive coping strategies and skills

  7. To challenge negative patterns, denial and abusive behaviour, with sensitivity and care

  8. To have fun and laugh in the midst of healing.



What happens at an S:VOX weekend?

The heart of each weekend is people sharing and listening to each other’s thoughts and feelings in response to common themes and topics. The programme includes several facilitated discussions, optional time for group and individual reflection, a creativity & afternoon and time to eat together, socialise and relax. Weekends are normally mixed and inclusive, with scope for special separate sessions (eg. based on gender, type of abuse, etc) as the group wishes.

The events are run within specific guidelines to make sure that they remain safe spaces for everyone. These guidelines cover areas such as confidentiality and respect and the group facilitators are responsible for making sure these are maintained.


Costs & Forthcoming Self Help Weekends

At the time of booking, we ask you to send a £25 deposit. At the end of the weekend, participants will be invited to anonymously donate as much or as little towards the remaining cost of the weekend, as they are able. We do not want anyone to be unable to attend a weekend because of financial constraints, so please do not let finances put you off from attending.

We haven’t set any more dates for weekends yet, as we need more volunteers. If you think you might like to help, or want to go on the email list to be contacted when we have a date, please email us to let us know you are interested and we will get inn touch.