North Shields Charity opens its doors for a Family Fun Day

A North Shields-based charity, which every year supports hundreds of local families, is opening its doors on Saturday.

The Acorns Project – located at 7 Alma Place – is holding a Family Fun Day where the highlights will include a Party Animals Mobile Zoo, face painting, plant pot painting, drumming workshops, indoor crafts and activities, snacks and refreshments and plenty of ice cream.

The Fun Day runs from 12.30-3.30 and earlier in the day – between 11 and 12.30 – the charity’s team of specialist staff will provide tours and information about their work helping young victims of domestic abuse and their families.  Anybody interested in finding out more about the role of Acorns should book an appointment for Saturday morning by ringing 0191 3498366 or e-mailing

“It’s a great opportunity for people, who might need our support, to see the welcoming and safe environment we have created and then stay on to have a fantastic fun afternoon,” said Acorns manager Abby Burton.


Preparing for the Acorns Family Fun Day – manager Abby Burton (left) and young people’s worker Kris Koth

Young people between the ages of four and 18 are referred to the charity by social services and other local agencies, brought by a parent or a family member, or – in the case of older teenagers – come forward themselves.  As well as those Acorns is able to help, there is still a long waiting list.

The charity’s team of 11 provides counselling and play therapy at Alma Place.  One-to-one support is also available in schools and within the community throughout North Tyneside. Acorns provides a drop-in service for young people aged 14 plus every Monday from 4.30 – 18.00 at their premises.

“Domestic abuse is usually hidden from the outside world. But if you’re a child living in an abusive environment you can’t hide from what you experience, see and hear – and unless you get some support that experience is likely to affect the rest of your life,” said Abby.

“We hear some really distressing stories from the families who access the service, but those who come along have confirmed it really does make a difference.  Our role is to provide some immediate help and then provide support to ensure what they’ve gone through doesn’t have a lasting effect.”

On one of the walls at Acorns is a letter from a 10-year-old boy who described the charity as “a hard shell that finally gives children the safe haven they have wanted.”  He added: “Instead of feeling like just one person lost in this big old world, Acorn helps put the world in your hands.  It’s OK not to be OK and together we are strong.”

Earlier this year Acorns was awarded a contract by North Tyneside Council and a grant from Children in Need.

It has also received money from the Office of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner to pay for a new crisis support worker.

But, with its main income from the National Lottery Community Fund due to end in 18 months, the charity has to work hard to raise money to ensure its much-needed services continue.

Next month it is holding a Golf Day at Tynemouth Golf Club and has already been donated a football shirt by Barcelona – one of the world’s most famous teams – for the raffle.

“We’ll have lots of other great prizes as well and we would love to hear from anybody who would like to play or donate to the raffle.”

The Golf Day takes place on Friday 30 August.  To enter a team go to or ring Maureen at Acorns on 0191 3498366.