Welcome to Survivors of Trauma
Survivors of Trauma is a community organisation that works with individuals who have been directly affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland. The organisation provides a range of therapeutic interventions aimed at addressing the needs of local people who have been traumatised as a consequence of a conflict related incident.
Who are we?
Survivors of Trauma was established in 1995 by a group of local people led by the late Brendan Bradley (Brad) as a direct response to the severe lack of support services for people living in the BT14 area of North Belfast who had suffered trauma as a result of the troubles.
North Belfast itself experienced a high level of sectarian violence with some 20% or just over 600 of all sectarian murders in Northern Ireland occurring in the area. Local people felt that there was a need for those who had been bereaved, injured or psychologically affected to have their own voice, to address their own needs and to find ways of enabling their community to develop. Many of these people having been deeply affected by the pain of their loss or the trauma experienced from day to day existence sought solace from one another taking from it the strength to make the transition from victim to survivor.
Our approach is based on the principles of community development, Participation – Equality – Respect – Empowerment.
What support do we offer?
Individual treatments are available on a daily basis at the centre and are carried out by our team of highly qualified professional therapists. The wide range of holistic therapies that we offer helps us meet the individual client need and the growing demand for the service. By carrying out client consultations our therapists can then recommend an appropriate therapy for each individual and create a treatment plan tailored to their need. Treatments available include; Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hot Stones Therapy, Aromatherapy, Hopi Ear Candles, Ear Acupuncture, Bach Flower Remedies and Reiki.
Many people traumatised by the ´troubles´ will have ongoing issues of depression and anxiety. These survivors find at times that being able to talk to a counselor about the issues affecting them and reflecting on trauma in their lives helps them continue on their road to recovery. Indeed many people who begin counseling will often return and use it as a way of dealing with new challenges and issues that they may face. Our confidential counseling service is provided free to members and can be accessed in a number of ways either through their G.P. or directly from The Victims Support Service (VSSNI).
Do you need to speak to some one?
The trauma related workshops present an opportunity for participants to discuss the relevant issues affecting their lives. Recent themes have included – stress & anger management, reflecting on the past, looking to the future and exploring new techniques to deal with trauma.
Training and Education
Our comprehensive training and education activities allow learners to achieve and progress at a level that best suits their need. By putting the learner first we have been able to devise a programme that offers opportunity for reintegration, personal development and ultimately progression to accreditation.
Computers/ICT – Facilitation – Languages – Art – Wood Carving – Leadership –Soft Furnishings – YOGA – Pilates
We have always encouraged users to explore their creativity and through our art based workshops we have found that the therapeutic rewards for participants are; increased levels of confidence & self esteem with many advancing to other training.
Our IT courses range from introductory non accredited classes through to advanced levels in Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS). Training in therapies is offered at introductory level to aspiring students hoping to eventually qualify with a diploma from our other classes.
Our partnership with training agencies, such as WEA & BIFHE has helped us broaden the base of learning opportunities to include; working in the community, facilitation skills, drugs awareness etc.
Recreational classes in Yoga & Pilates are popular with both men and women and are provided on a weekly basis, as is the Irish language class.