Keeley de Freese
TouchBase™ Co-ordinator and Attachment Lead
In January 2015, Keeley started working alongside Louise Michelle Bombèr, firstly co-ordinating national training course bookings for schools, local authorities and adoption agencies across the UK; then as the TouchBase™ Co-ordinator administering support services to children, families, schools and agencies across Sussex. In 2015, Keeley completed the Attachment Lead in Schools intensive course, facilitated by Louise Bombèr, and gave weekly one-to-one support to pupils at a local primary school.
Keeley studied for a degree in European Business with French, followed by a Masters degree in European Studies focusing on international relations and development policy. This prepared her well for a placement at the European Union working in the Development Directorate in Brussels. Keeley then spent a voluntary year with a church in South Africa, working in numerous township projects: pioneering a ‘Kids Club’; supporting teachers and children in a pre-school; helping to facilitate youth and Sunday School groups; running a soup-kitchen for HIV and TB patients; and administering a micro-business training programme.
Returning to the UK, Keeley worked for several years as a Programme Assistant at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance providing support to Country Offices and Linking Organisations in West Africa. A key achievement was contributing to the successful set-up of an Alliance Country Office in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to implement a multi-million Dollar programme to significantly scale-up the national HIV/AIDS response.
Keeley became increasingly passionate about the care of orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa. In 2008, she started working for The Bethany Children’s Trust (BCT) where she co-ordinated on-going project development support, training and funding to BCT’s project partners in various African countries. These churches and community based projects provided holistic care and support to children affected by HIV and AIDS, conflict, extreme poverty and disabilities, enabling them to overcome significant trauma and loss and fulfil their potential. Keeley visited project partners regularly to review their progress, provide training in different aspects of project management and development, child care and protection.
Keeley is passionate about strengthening children’s relationships with key adults in their lives to enable them to feel safe and to recover from trauma and loss. Keeley completed Theraplay® Level 1 training in 2016 and facilitates groups using Theraplay® Informed Practice. She also assists at Plot 22, a TouchBase™ therapeutic allotment project in Hove. Keeley uses PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy – a way of relating with children taught by Dan Hughes) in her work with children at TouchBase™, including the TouchBase™ choir – Belong - for children in care, adopted and on special guardianships. Keeley takes part in regular continued professional development sessions with TouchBase™ to learn more about attachment and trauma based interventions. She has participated at a PODS training day to better understand the causes and ways to support those with Dissociation Identity Disorder. She has also completed Pastoral Care Skills Training and has a certificate in Counselling Skills (Level 2).
Keeley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org