A specialist service that helps children and families rebuild their lives after experiencing abuse, trauma or neglect has acquired and renovated a new base thanks to six-figure funding from Unity Trust Bank.
Tim Woodhouse, a former social worker, established Tiptoes Child Therapy Services in 2010 and used the £309,000 loan from Unity to help buy The Old School House in Ashton-under-Lyne, where his 10-strong team of therapists support around 100 clients each week.
The building, a former weavers’ cottage built in the 1700s, now provides homely, warm and welcoming rooms, and is a far cry from the ‘office units’ the company has rented previously.
Tim, a director of Tiptoes alongside his wife and co-director Kim, said: “This is a beautiful building which has the opposite feel to your usual therapy rooms. The first client who visited said ‘it’s like walking into a big hug’ and that sums it up perfectly.
“We wanted somewhere where we could not only provide the best service for our clients, but also support our therapists who need space to relax and support each other in between sessions, because this work can be inherently stressful.
“I approached Unity for a mortgage because I was interested in their social values, and we wouldn’t have this building if it wasn’t for their belief in our vision.
“Meeting Paul Nugent, our relationship manager, was really refreshing. Paul had faith in us and the services we provide and held our hand throughout the whole process.
“It feels good to be supported by a bank that is socially aware and ethical. We’re a good match because it’s all about putting something back into society; this building is our legacy so the company can keep operating long after we have gone.”
Having witnessed harrowing cases of abuse and neglect as a social worker and while working for the NSPCC, Tim said he wanted to offer long term support and therapy services because he believed ‘removing a child from harm doesn’t necessarily remove the harm from the child.’
He said: “When I was working on an enquiry into historic abuse at a care home, we had to find the adults – and we found them in prisons, in mental institutions, on the streets and in cemeteries. That’s the legacy of being harmed and we need to break that cycle and prevent people from bouncing from one difficult situation to another.”
Tiptoes provides a wide range of therapy services and works closely with schools, local authorities, regional adoption agencies, police, charities, private providers and NHS mental health services.
It also provides additional training, clinical supervision and emotional wellbeing support to its staff and offers two placements a year for college students.
Paul Nugent, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “We lend to organisations that make a positive difference to people’s lives and Tiptoes epitomises everything we stand for.
“We were delighted to help finance this new building as it will enable Tim and his team to continue their valuable work.”