A special place of safety designed to support children and vulnerable adults in trauma and help them speak with services has been opened in Holmfirth.  

The new ‘Bright Space’ has been formally opened and is now running in the Achieving Best Evidence suite at Holmfirth Police Station after being funded and designed by the Bright Horizons for Children charity.

The special suite occupies two rooms at Holmfirth Police Station to create homely and welcoming environments.

It includes comfortable seating and soft furnishings, and an extensive range of high-quality resources, art and craft supplies, games, relaxation toys and books.

Funding has been provided through a combination of fundraising initiatives in support of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and a £2,000 grant from The Morrisons Foundation to the charity.  

The Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) suite is a special facility built to provide a space in which young people and adults can be offered specialist support when speaking with police and partners. It complements a similar space opened in Mirfield in 2019 with Bright Horizons.

Agencies are acutely aware of the intense difficulty and extra pain people who have suffered trauma can face in having to relive it to provide accounts to the police.  

Det Insp Oliver Coates, of the Kirklees District Safeguarding Unit, said: “This new Bright Space is not only a wonderful room for children to play in, but it also creates a place where they can connect with other children, their family, and supportive adults who can provide needed services.

“In an atmosphere of safety and trust, children and adults are able to make better decisions, regulate their emotions, and provide important emotional support to each other. 

“Being able to offer a safe environment ensures they are not overwhelmed whilst giving evidence and means they get a fairer opportunity of achieving justice.”

Tracy Wilkes-Green, the foundation’s Bright Space manager, said: “We are delighted to have opened this new Bright Spaces for West Yorkshire Police. We hope it will positively impact the vital work across West Yorkshire to keep vulnerable children safe and supported. 

“Trauma in childhood affects children’s physical, emotional and intellectual growth and development. Bright Spaces are designed to help.

“Safe, enriching, and nurturing play environments in domestic violence refuges, homeless shelters, child protection interview suites and prison visiting areas, provide children in crisis the opportunity to heal from trauma through play.”