Clear Sky are an Oxfordshire-based charity who work with children who have experienced a wide range of traumas. Clear Sky define trauma as anything that is ‘too much, too soon or too quick’ for the individual to manage, for example bereavement, abuse, family breakdown or neglect. Clear Sky was set up by Sophia Giblin following her own experiences of trauma in childhood when she lost her mum as a teenager and as a result struggled with her own mental health. She recognised the need for targeted and appropriate support for children and young people at this crucial time in their emotional development.

Fundraising is vital to the continuation of Clear Sky’s work. It subsidises the fees charged to schools for Play & Creative Arts Therapy ensuring that services remain affordable and accessible to those who need it most.

Clear Sky recently teamed up with Mark Barclay of Mark Barclay Wealth Management in Summertown. After meeting at a networking event five years ago, Sophia reached out to Mark for support in applying for funding from St James’ Place Charitable Foundation.

Sophia explains, “I met Mark when Clear Sky was in its infancy and we chatted about the work of Clear Sky. We kept in touch and in 2014 Mark helped us to secure a grant of £2,500. When the opportunity to apply to St James’ Place Charitable Foundation came around again I asked Mark for his support in working together to secure a larger grant. Clear Sky has a fundraising target of £80,000 to meet this year and we need all the help we can get securing funding. With Mark’s support we have been successful in securing a sum of £10,000 to allow us to reach even more vulnerable children across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It is wonderful that St. James’ Place and Mark Barclay Wealth Management has chosen to help at a time when access to mental health services for children and young people are so over-stretched.”

Funding from St James’ Place Charitable Foundation will enable Clear Sky to provide 522 therapy sessions. In these sessions children will grow in confidence, develop self-esteem, learn about themselves and begin to work through and address some of their difficult experiences giving them the best chance for a happy and successful future.