Summer newsletter out now

Front cover of St Gregory's Foundation newsletter

Our summer newsletter is published today with news from our partners in St Petersburg and Tbilisi.

The climate we are working in has changed dramatically since our last newsletter and our colleagues are presented with new challenges.

We are pleased to report that they are responding positively, and continuing to serve those in need in their communities.

In this issue you can read about:

Theraplay helps Lida and Liza to bond

Emotionally stable parents seem to know naturally how to play with their children. The parents Sunflower supports grew up in children’s homes and they need to learn this essential skill.

Lida’s childhood was marked by multiple traumas: alcoholic parents, time in a children’s home, and several failed adoption placements before she was successfully placed with her present family. She now lives in Lensovietsky, the suburb featured in our last newsletter, where Sunflower has recently set up a support group due to the high number of care-leavers in the area.

Lida was rather passive and would just say, “you see, she doesn’t listen to me”. The Theraplay method involves repeating the same simple games. This means that it is easy for the child to learn the rules and for the parents to concentrate on their child. Sunflower had a breakthrough when Liza’s dad also started coming to sessions. He too grew up in a children’s home and came from a family of alcoholics. He is rather jealous of Lida’s relationship with her adoptive family, and this makes it difficult for her to get support from them. This puts a strain on her relationship
with Liza’s dad.

Theraplay has helped bring the three of them closer together. Lida values the sessions now and is keen not to miss them. She chats to her daughter and gives her cuddles. In return, Liza will ask her mama for help and also does what
she is told more often. It’s obvious that Liza really likes playing with her mama and papa
now. She particularly likes being swung in a blanket.

Sunflower continues to work despite the very difficult climate. With foreign funding from many quarters disappearing and local funding also drying up many local charities have had to cut services. Sunflower continues to support 21 families in crisis, including 30 children.

Physical Rehabilitation goes from strength to strength

St Gregory’s has worked with Ekaterina Klochkova to improve the care of disabled children since our beginnings as a charity. In recent months, Physical Rehabilitation, the charity she founded in St Petersburg, has developed significantly, allowing them to serve more families.

Continue reading Physical Rehabilitation goes from strength to strength

HRH Prince Michael of Kent meets SGF supporters

HRH Prince Michael of Kent with guests from St Gregory's Foundation

We are delighted that on 9th May our Patron, His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent, met our long-standing supporters Svetlana Savelyeva and Yulia Kozlova from Help Impact, joined by Countess Alexandra Tolstoy-Miloslavsky and the SGF team: Nicholas Kolarz, Chairman, Tania Illingworth (nee Tolstoy), Director and Julia Ashmore, Executive Secretary.

Continue reading HRH Prince Michael of Kent meets SGF supporters

Two-year wrongful dismissal case resolved

For the last two years Keti has been fighting to return to her job after she was fired in very dubious circumstances. Keti is a former beneficiary of Mkurnali, a Tbilisi charity that helps vulnerable young people. Once again, she turned to them and their legal programme, which is funded by St Gregory’s Foundation.

Continue reading Two-year wrongful dismissal case resolved