On The Eleventh Day of Christmas My Wish Came True

ON the eleventh day of Christmas, my wish came true for board games

The sound of laughter and the sight of children hunched up over a board game is a familiar sight and sound in our children’s playroom at the 24/7 safe house. Top of the pops are Junior Monopoly, Connect 4 and Guess Who.

The board games are well loved, not least because of the number of children who live temporarily in our safe house and refuges.Last year, of the 241 children who were supported through the McAuley Community Services for Women’s family violence services, 51 were primary school aged children and 38 were aged 10 to 19.

Until reaching our family violence services, many have had little chance to be children.

“Many are afraid of laughing, being seen to enjoy themselves, and being a child,” Cassandra, our Safety and Futures team leader said.

“As they settle down, the opportunity to play games and have fun is amazing to witness. It’s great to be able to give them the opportunity to step away from being adults before their time,” she said.

McAuley Community Services for Women’s children’s program is focused on giving children and young people the opportunity to play and communicate in a place which is free from abuse, safe due to clear boundaries and respectful.

“We trial new methods of working with children, whether it is yoga, meditation or even puppet shows to help them slow down mentally and physically,” Cassandra said.

Nothing though surpasses the chance to ‘beat the worker or volunteer’ in a competitive game of Monopoly or Guess Who.

As Cassandra says, “Board games are a great way to learn to play with others, to engage in something fun and distracting, and to take turns in equal and playful interactions”.

“A game of Monopoly has so many levels, from learning about sharing and friendly competition, to gaining a sense of control and ownership that is essential for children in often powerless positions.”

“It’s a way to break down the barriers of social isolation forced upon them, giving them back an experience of being a kid again.”

We are seeking donations of board games suitable from primary age upwards to make Christmas wishes come true for the children living in our 24/7 accessible safe house and refuges.