11 March 2019
Speaker at our meeting of 11th March was Julian Reeves, who spoke about the work of the Seamab charity. Julian is a trustee of this charity, which runs a very special small school at Rumbling Bridge in Perthshire.
The school exists to help some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and severely-abused children; those who are, sadly, beyond the help of more mainstream schools. We heard that care is provided 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. A safe and secure environment is created through a very structured day, that requires 70 staff to care for, currently, 18 children.
It was a difficult story to listen to as Julian described (anonymised) stories to us.
Almost all of the children at Seamab have experienced significant trauma. This may have included neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.
Most of the children live with Seamab all year round. Boys and girls are aged between five and thirteen when they arrive and they can stay up to age eighteen.
Importantly each child can stay for the right length of time for them - and each has an individual programme for care and education; helping in the most effective way possible for that child.
Julian made reference to a number of studies, including research showing that children who are looked after away from home, are many times more likely than other children to achieve less in school; have a mental health problem; be homeless; spend time in prison; and die before the age of twenty. He strongly emphasised the ethos at Seamab, which is determinedly working to change this.
In the face of so much sadness and heartbreak it was encouraging to hear that success is being achieved for children. Chances are being created and the idea that ‘tomorrow will be a brighter day’ a dream worth pursuing.
Following questions, club member William Duncan proposed a vote of thanks.