Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and historically with the decline of the Jute industry and any further investment; lack of employment opportunities and poverty became synonymous with Dundee. This resulted in a high incidence of trauma impacting on both children and families through substance misuse, domestic violence and poor mental health. Recently having the unenviable reputation of the highest rate of suicide in young men in Scotland.
Our dream is to change this; by creating a place where people will feel welcomed and accepted and discover hope for a better future.
The dream project is called the “BIG HEART” project. Though still in embryonic stage it is beginning to grow arms and legs.
We aim to offer hope, care and support for families and the big heart project will be the place where that can happen.
It will become the big heart of Dundee; a multi-purpose venue that offers a safe, therapeutic, creative and reflective space where children and families can process some of their challenges due to trauma, loss and bereavement. There will be space for training and equipping professionals, parents, carers, ministers and others who are involved in supporting children and families; in schools, in the community and in front-line services.
At our heart, we need to know that we are loved deeply and in this knowledge we are able to show acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and tolerance to one another. We want to create a building with a big welcoming “Heart” at the centre.
In our busy society; with hectic lives and over-active minds we need to slow down and listen to our hearts and internal world. We will create an encounter room within the Big Heart centre for; prayer, meditation and stillness so people can listen and re-connect with God and spirit.
The Big Heart centre will host a relaxing, welcoming and creative environment with the café and stimulating play zones catering for all ages and stages of development.
The Big Heart centre will have; large multi-use spaces, communal areas and individual therapy spaces offering one-to-one support to children and adults.
We also intend developing the following within the Big Heart space:
- Warm, comfortable rooms for family’s to have supervised contact.
Larger rooms to facilitate therapeutic groups I.e support and parenting groups.
- A cinema style/ lecture room for training and equipping.
- A large soft play area
- ‘The big slide’ room– a place for taking risks.
- A bounce room
- A quiet room.
- Individual therapy rooms which will be themed around different elements – earth, air, fire and water.
Our projects and programmes are developed with an emphasis on the emotional and mental health and well-being of children and their families and our current focus is Sam’s House little friendly space in Lebanon.
We are in the early stages of developing the Big Heart Dundee project in Scotland which will be a multi-purpose venue that will offer a safe, therapeutic, creative and reflective space for children and their families who have suffered with loss and bereavement.
For the Love of a Child is a Scottish Christian faith based charity and was founded in 2010 by Tom and Donna Jennings following the tragic death of their little boy Samuel.
Sam died suddenly at just five years old from heart failure whilst happily playing at a fruit farm. This tragedy was the catalyst for Tom and Donna to look for ways to bring hope and love into the lives of children and families who have also suffered with trauma and loss.