07496 528506 | Growing Hope - Free therapy clinics for children and their families


1. Making a referral

I’m not a Christian – can I still refer a child or young person to Growing Hope?

Absolutely, we welcome any children or young people living in the local area who have additional needs that impact their everyday activities. We accept referrals from anyone who has discussed the referral with and gained consent from the child’s primary caregiver.

Will you make referrals to other services?

If the therapist feels that your child would benefit from another service that is offered by Growing Hope, they will refer you directly to the appropriate therapist. If a referral outside of Growing Hope is needed, you will be asked to take your child’s report and recommendations to your GP.

How do I know if the referral I made has been accepted?

If your referral has been accepted, you will receive an email from us with confirmation and with information either about our waiting list process or with an appointment date and time for your child’s assessment.

How long will I have to wait for my child’s referral to be processed?

We will try to process your child’s referral within one working week. If you have not heard from us after this time, please contact us.

2. Attending clinic

Can you visit my child’s school?

Unfortunately no, Growing Hope therapists don’t visit children’s schools as part of therapy. It is really important to Growing Hope that each child’s parent or carer is involved in the therapy sessions in order that they have strategies to continue at home.

Can you visit me at home?

Unfortunately, no. In order that Growing Hope can help as many children and young people and their families as possible we are a clinic-based service. This means we can see more children each day.

Can I bring my child’s sibling to their appointment?

Yes, you can bring your child’s sibling to their appointment. However, the therapist will expect you to be able to actively participate in the session so that you can learn strategies to take home with you. If your child’s sibling will prevent you from being able to participate in the session, please arrange for alternative childcare.

Will you always offer to pray for me? What if I say no?

Yes, our therapists will always offer to pray for you and your child each session as we believe that Jesus brings hope into everyone’s lives. You are very welcome to say no if you do not want prayer at any point. We want all the families who attend Growing Hope clinics to feel welcome and comfortable; if you feel uncomfortable at any point, please let the therapist know.

Will I get a therapy report for my child?

Following assessment you will receive a short report of the findings. If your child or young person receives a block of intervention, you will be given a brief summary of the progress they have made with their therapy goals.

Can my child come back for another block of therapy sessions?

Yes, children are able to be re-referred to the service if they have new or ongoing areas of difficulty that still need to be addressed. Growing Hope’s policy is that there must be a six-week gap between the end of the last therapy block and the re-referral.

3. Attending church

What do I bring to church?

You do not need to bring anything specific to be able to participate in church. However, if your child needs or uses the following it might be helpful to bring these:

  • Ear defenders if they use these when it’s noisy
  • A fidget toy if this helps your child focus
  • Pads and a change of clothes if your child needs support for personal care
  • A snack if this will help your child remain regulated

When you arrive at church please do find the lead therapist who you have been working with at Growing Hope and they will make sure your child or young person receives the support they need and that you receive a warm welcome.

What should I wear to church?

You can wear anything you like to church. Most people will wear everyday, casual clothing.

Can I just show up at the local church?

Yes, you can go along to any church service whenever you would like without prior arrangement. If you would like information about the times and locations of services at a local church, please ask the lead therapist at the Growing Hope clinic.


Can I go to see what church is like even if I’m not a Christian?

Absolutely; churches often have visitors who are not Christians. Anyone is welcome to go along to a church service and see what it is like. You do not have to participate in anything that you do not want to.

4. Occupational Therapy

Does Growing Hope provide equipment?

Growing Hope is unable to provide large pieces of equipment such as seating, wheelchairs and bathing equipment for use at home. We will be able to recommend small pieces of equipment (such as pencil grips, wobble cushions and gym balls). If you are unable to afford these, please speak to your therapist; Growing Hope may be able to provide this equipment for you.

What does occupational therapy intervention involve?

Occupational therapy intervention involves working on goals that have been set by the child with the help of their parent or carer and therapist. Sessions will always be play-based and will give the opportunity to improve underlying skills – such as posture, strength, dexterity – as well as to practise activities that a child is requires assistance with, such as using scissors, forming a better pencil grasp, or being able to sit at a table.

What does an occupational therapy assessment involve?

An occupational therapy assessment aims to look at the functional areas that a child or young person is finding difficult. This will involve discussion with the parent or carer and the child or young person, some observation of play, writing, scissor-skills and similar tasks, and sometimes a standardised assessment. Where standardised assessments are used, they enable the occupational therapist to look at the child or young person’s level of functioning in relation to age norms. This can provide others with a clear picture of where an individual may be struggling.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy helps with everyday activities that a child participates in, whether that is washing, dressing, eating, playing, handwriting or something else. Occupational therapists look to see if there’s anything that a child finds difficult and then at how they can help to make it easier. They see both children with diagnosed needs and significant disabilities, and those with undiagnosed needs and general concerns about coordination.

5. Counselling

Are my child’s sessions confidential?

Unless there is a safeguarding concern, what your child shares within their session is confidential to them and to the professionals involved. This means that what is shared with you as a parent needs to be with permission from the child.

Will you write a counselling report?

We do not tend to write a counselling report, but will offer a follow-up session at the end of your child’s block of counselling to go over broad themes of sessions and to think about how to support your child going forward. There is also the chance to speak for 5-10 minutes at the end of each counselling session.

Can I join in with my child’s counselling session?

The majority of counselling sessions are done with just the counsellor and child in the room, but for the last 5-10 minutes of the session you are welcome to come and hear from your child about what we have thought about that day.

How long does each session last?

Each session lasts for 45 minutes.

What does an assessment involve?

An assessment session is an opportunity to talk with a counsellor about the details of your child’s difficulties. You do not need to bring anything to the session.

If I make a referral, what will you offer me?

We will normally offer an initial assessment session, usually with just the parent(s). Following this, if we feel our service is appropriate, we will usually offer 5-6 sessions for your child with a final follow-up session for the parent(s). If we don’t feel we can meet your need then we will do our best to signpost you to somewhere that we think would be helpful for you.

Where does counselling take place?

Counselling sessions are in the Action for Children centre on Cubitt Street, King’s Cross.

What is counselling?

If we are worried about something or struggling with how we are feeling in some way then it can become difficult to cope with most other aspects of our daily lives. Counselling sessions offer an opportunity to think about how we are feeling and how best to understand and cope with those feelings, with someone who is completely separate from our family or school. We normally do this through playing, chatting, drawing and writing.

6. Art Therapy

What kind of goals can Art Therapy work towards?

Art Therapy can support children/families explore and learn to express their emotions effectively, experience a positive therapeutic base/relationship, develop a deeper sense of self and self-esteem, work on sensory integration and developing resilience and work on safe coping strategies.

What does an Art therapy (AT) session look like?

AT is a place for children/families to come and express themselves through the artmaking, play and exploring various art materials. This work is based on a safe therapeutic relationship and the client/s can use the materials to express themselves, which is particularly helpful for those who struggle to verbally express themselves. The client/s can decide what they would like to use and the therapist follows the process, working with what the client/s decides to bring up. Goal-based and short-term work is also possible with Art Therapy.

What is involved in an Art Therapy assessment?

The Art Therapist would spend some time with the client/s getting to know their goals and interests and discussing whether this service is something that they are interested in. It is an opportunity to see if the artmaking is of interest and what the client/s would like to see happen in the following sessions. 

Do you have to be artistic to do Art Therapy?

There is no need to be artistic to use the service and it is open to all. Any mark making and exploring various materials is part of the work, particularly helpful in describing different life experiences.

7. Speech and Language Therapy

What does speech and language therapy intervention involve?

Speech and language therapy intervention involves working on goals that have been set by the child or young person, with help from their parent or carer and therapist. Sessions will often be play-based and involved games and structured activities that provide opportunities to develop communication skills.

What does a speech and language therapy assessment involve?

A speech and language therapy assessment aims to look at a range of different areas of communication, including attention and listening, understanding and expression, social communication and interaction skills. It will involve discussion with the child or young person and their parent or carer. It will also involve some observation of play and interaction with others, as well as some structured activities and sometimes a standardised assessment (e.g. looking at pictures and responding to questions). This information will help to show which areas of communication are having an impact on everyday life. It can also help you understand your child’s difficulties with communication and find the right support.

What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy helps children and young people with their communication skills, so that they are able to understand other people better and clearly communicate their own thoughts and ideas to others.

8. Music Therapy

What does a Music Therapy session look like?

A Music Therapy session will generally involve songs used each week to start and end the therapy and then time in between for free musical play. Here your child and the therapist will use instruments to improvise, providing space for expression and opportunity to work towards individualised goals.

Will my child learn an instrument?

Music therapy is not a music lesson – your child will have opportunity to play instruments and explore musical sound but will not directly learn how to play specific instruments.

What does a Music Therapy assessment involve?

Music therapy assessment involves providing opportunity to see if your child responds positively to music and is interested in engaging with the therapist and instruments provided.

What kind of goals can Music Therapy work towards?

Goals for each young person will be tailored to their needs but in all cases, the therapist aims to provide an environment in which a relationship can develop between herself and the young person through the use of shared improvised music and sound as an interactive and communicative medium. This music reflects and communicates the young person’s inner feelings without the need for words, enabling them to express emotions in a safe environment. There is also chance to work towards goals such as: prolonging attention span, exploring interaction and supporting meaningful play with others.

9. Physiotherapy

What does physiotherapy intervention involve?

Physiotherapy treatment is focused around play. A physiotherapy session aims to be fun and will be based around games and toys that incorporate movements or exercises that stretch or strengthen a muscle, help with correct postures or help to develop new physical skills. Each block of treatment works towards specific goals that have been set jointly with the child, parent and therapist. These goals might be to learn to crawl, to be able to stand independently to play at the sand box or even to be able to hop and jump in order to join in with skipping rope games at school. To attain these goals some children may need to strengthen muscles, stretch tight muscles or find new ways to adapt certain tasks.

What does a physiotherapy assessment involve?

A physiotherapist will complete an initial assessment that firstly involves asking questions to find out about each child and what difficulties they have with their movement and how this affects them day to day.  They will then look at a child’s muscles and bones by moving the joints and also seeing how well the child can move these joints. Finally the physiotherapist will look at how your child moves and how this affects them in everyday tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, running or engaging in sports. 

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy helps children with movement, such as crawling, walking, balancing and posture by helping muscles and joints to work the best they can. 

Physiotherapists use their knowledge of the body to strengthen or stretch muscles in order for children to be as independent in their movement as possible, allowing them to enjoy participating in everyday life and reach their full potential. 

What conditions does a physiotherapist treat?

Physiotherapists treat a wide range of conditions, from those that have a diagnosis, to those that don’t but struggle with certain physical tasks or movements.