Womens support groups North Devon

Womens Support Groups in North Devon

Client testimonial

Before I found SAND I was mostly in a numb frozen state and my life was pretty empty except for family life and a ton of responsibility that I tended to try and avoid.  Even when I started joining the Women’s support group I slid in at the last moment with dripping wet hair and whatever clothes I could find easily. 

But then I suddenly had a group of women waiting every Wednesday wanting to know if I had accomplished things in my week.  I wanted to tell them I had achieved and I had people who were proud of the small things I was doing. 

Then I looked at myself in the mirror and promised myself that I would start showing up for myself as well as for them.  So I did.

Today I am more motivated than I have been in years.  My days have a sense of purpose and meaning about them and I do things regularly for myself just because I enjoy doing them.  I swim a kilometre most days, I eat healthily and I’ve lost nearly 2 stone of baby weight.  My hair is 52 cm shorter and I can even use makeup properly.  I have forged beautiful and healthy relationships with the women who join the support group and I honestly don’t know where I would be without them every week.  I’ve quit smoking and I’ve applied for a degree.  My family is thriving too.

This is the work that SAND is doing.  Creating a space that is trauma informed means that we are safe here.  We are all here for similar reasons and that gives us an extremely strong bond and a sense of great understanding of each other even though we don’t generally go into much detail about our stories. 

We can laugh and cry and still be welcome and accepted and cared about.  We are healing and growing and making sense of things and there isn’t one woman that I haven’t seen achieve in some way.

I’m so profoundly grateful and privileged to be a part of SAND and I hope that one day more organisations can focus on trauma informed care and practice to help men and women like us because it works and it saves people.  {SAND Client & Supporter}

Womens support groups North Devon

We began our first online Peer Support group early in 2020, possibly as a direct reaction to the isolation that the world was experiencing. This was so successful. 

Upon referral to SAND, women are offered the opportunity to participate in one of our supportive groups. These are 10 weekly sessions, in term-time, and are either face-to-face or online, for 1 ½ hours. We ask for affordable donations.

This will be a group of 8 participants, who will commit to attending 10 weekly sessions.

There will be a mixture of; psycho-education – helping to understand our feelings and behaviours as part of recovery from trauma, and learning ways in which to cope with daily life, group discussions and support – as part of our weekly topic, or current and relevant issues affecting the lives and relationships of the group each week, creativity – as a way to express ourselves and develop new skills, mindfulness and relaxation – to help us gently connect to ourselves, we may invite guest-speakers as part of our course topics or for information we feel is relevant or interesting to the group.

The group is focused on peer support, as this is not group therapy, although this is a therapeutic space. Participants receive support not only from our facilitators but from each other, by listening, understanding, and at times sharing their stories and what has helped them in their own recovery. Women who sit in a circle as a way to support and understand each other, is healing and rewarding, benefitting all those who participate.

In sharing and listening, we believe that;


Sharing Your Story Can Be the Key to Unlock Someone Else’s Prison.’

{All of our male referrals that have experienced child sexual abuse can be referred to MoMENtum, who offer specialist male peer support groups in Devon. This does not affect your application for counselling with us}.

This also opens the opportunity to become a ‘Friend of SAND’ and to participate in our new project, THRIVE .


Womens support groups North Devon

With the full surround support of the SAND team, our most upcoming women support groups will be held by Camilla, one of our SAND counsellors and Sarah, our counselling lead. Click Here.

This is a flexibly structured space, where we can each participate in whichever way feels right for us. It has proven to be a place where women have made new friends and connections with other survivors of sexual abuse, trusting to share some of their feelings and concerns, day-to-day behaviours and issues, relationships and difficulties and also our breakthroughs and growth. To receive understanding and compassion from other women and to really listen to each other.

We have been reassured that other people have similar thoughts and feelings from our pilot face to face group held in 2023.

Womens support groups north devon
“I wish none of us had the need to be here but we create a wonderful space and in the last year I’ve seen so much growth from you all and I’ve experienced huge growth in myself. I was a numb wreck when we first started and now I have some momentum and flow in my life. Some days I really do wonder at how this improvement has happened and then I remember that it’s a slow but sure process and we need a sense of purpose and community to help us come through. That’s you, a community and purpose. We do that for each other and for ourselves by simply showing up whenever we can. [WSG SAND 2022)”
“I’m feeling really grateful to be here today and I want to thank every single woman here for just being here. The small things really do make a positive difference. {SAND WSG 2022}”
“The help and support that SAND have given me has been amazing. When I’ve felt unable to cope with my trauma I’ve always known that I would never be judged by anyone within this support group. It’s rare to feel safe after trauma but that is what I cherish about our weekly zoom calls and the counselling that I received from SAND. Words are not enough to express my gratitude for the empathy and genuine care that you have all shown. Long may your organisation continue to exist as it’s a lifeline to so many people. Thank you. {SAND WSG 2022}”