Category Archives: Latest News

Funding Crisis Update

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Last week we had to make the heart-breaking decision to close the waiting list to the counselling service due to a severe lack of funding. We have been overwhelmed with the support and solidarity that you have shown, we understand that many people feel as passionately as we do about this. We wanted to give a bit more information and hopefully some ways you can help us.

The current waiting list has been growing substantially over the last few years and this has been exacerbated by Covid 19 restrictions.  Although we have explored funding opportunities and made numerous applications for funding, we have not secured enough funding to support all of the clients that request to use our service.  Adding additional clients onto our waiting list extends the time that each client is on the list, and we have reached the point where this waiting time is now at an unacceptable and unethical level.

Because of this we had to make the decision to close it until secure, sustainable funding is made available. To put this into context, and in the interests of transparency, to provide the level of meaningful support that we feel is necessary to the number of victims and survivors that are referred to us each year, the counselling service overall costs £924,000 annually. To clear the current waiting list which stands, on average, around 18 months for adults, will cost an additional £609,000.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has pledged an additional £100,000 and partners at Herefordshire Council have pledged £120,000 to help with the immediate crisis.  We remain hopeful that they, along with other local councils and agencies, will recognise the need for long term sustainable funding for survivors for future years – without this commitment, we are concerned that we will be in the same situation this time next year.

 

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

Findings in every recent (and historic) government commissioned report and review conclude, in one way or another, that all victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence should have access to specialist support. Despite this, sexual violence STILL does not form any part of any strategic governmental policy or document, other than with specific reference to child sexual exploitation. Please join us in lobbying local MPs, councils, health and government to change this. We have drafted a template letter that you can use as a basis for your letter, this can be downloaded here: Letter to MP template. Please note that letters that are simply copied and pasted don’t tend to get through, so please make sure to personalise yours as much as possible. Please visit https://www.writetothem.com/?a=westminstermp&pc= to send your email to your local councillor and /or MP. If you can’t find details for your local councillor please visit https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors where you will be able to get to your local council site and see all the relevant contact details you’ll need to send a letter or email.

We understand that the amount we need to resolve this far exceeds individual giving, however, as many of you have asked for ways to give, if you would like to donate towards the cost of this, please click on the link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1000782&stop_mobi=yes

A petition to demand for statutory funding of sexual violence support services already exists on Change.org, please click on the link to sign: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-survivors-of-sexual-violence-are-being-denied-support-tell-theresa-may-this-must-end-now-62f47463-2ee5-4960-a818-0d0a17894134

 

Thank you so much for your support.

Rape Crisis England and Wales Launch Live Chat Helpline for Women and Girls

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Rape Crisis England & Wales – Live Chat Helpline

 

The Rape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW) Live Chat Helpline offers a text-based service for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.

The Live Chat Helpline operators are there are there to listen and offer you emotional support for up to 30 minutes. You can talk about what happened to you, how you feel, and any difficulties you are facing.

To access the service, or find out more information, including opening times, please visit the RCEW website.

Kerrie and Becca’s London Marathon Blog #4

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20 Miles and Counting!

We did the 20 miler this weekend and it was fine!

I have to be honest, after a horrible 18 mile the weekend before we were both a little apprehensive about how this would work out.

So we each had a great sports massage from the guys at McClelland Centre at University of Worcester early in the week then we made sure we ate properly the night before (steak and pasta!) and we were well hydrated. During the run itself we ate energy bars every hour and walked as we ate them so we kept moving but allowed ourselves  to digest those good carbs!

We ran together the whole 20 miles and finished feeling good so we have a good plan for the actual marathon. I am not complacent about how hard the final 6.2 miles are likely to be but they feel achievable now.

So we now start the ‘taper’…. Which means the longest run we do between now and the marathon is a 9 miler (Yippee!!) and we keep up with our strengths training and running shorter distances. I think a few cheeky hills for good measure too.

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored us. Do come to our event on 15th April – great chance to listen to some great music and do a spot of shopping too.

Kerrie x

Kerrie and Becca’s London Marathon Blog #3

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Snow Day

So this week has been quite stressful for us marathoners….. instead of enjoying the ‘Snow day’, we were missing out on our weekly long run as it was just too cold and slippy to risk it.

So we have tried a number of other activities instead (all approved as alternatives to training on such occasions by the mighty google…..) Aqua Aerobics (absolutely not just a bit of ‘dancing in the pool’, genuinely a great work out for your legs and arms…. Thanks Jane J) , Insane Insanity videos at home (they really do live up to the name and are pain personified) and Spinning (painful seats for the unaccustomed novice ooch…. but gets your heart rate going).

We are also now carrying some injuries (bad hip for Bec and dodgy knee for me) so we are having sports massage to try and sort that out.

We’ll be back to running this week with an 18 miler planned on Friday…. So we are working so hard for this, I promise.

We’re still working on our fundraising target so really need you to share with your friends and get us some support for your local Rape Crisis Centre Children and Young People’s Services.

See you next week!

 

Kerrie

Kerrie and Becca’s London Marathon Blog #2

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All Running Smoothiely!

My name is Becca, I am fast approaching 40, I am a mum, wife and business owner. As you could imagine, I have a full life. I started jogging just because it was sociable, free and it fitted around my family.

I have always enjoyed exercise but running would never have been top of my list! Being a former smoker probably didn’t help and I remember having to stop to catch my breath several times during 5k jogs.

I had been running for two years before My friend Kerrie and I had the crazy idea to enter the London Marathon. It will be one of the toughest challenges I have ever signed up to but raising money seems to be the bigger challenge at the moment.

As time has gone by, kilometres turned into miles, miles turned into half marathons and I started to notice positive changes in my appearance, my physical ability and in the food I wanted to eat. Everyone tells you how important it is to eat the right food before you go running. I now know this through experimenting. I can’t have that Chinese take out, accompanied with a G&T the night before a 14 mile run. I have to fuel my body correctly or suffer the consequences. I ran a half marathon on a banana (and several jelly babies) and felt great. Now I’m running past 13 miles, I’ve had to up the fuel.

I have never blogged before and I’m not sure what people write. I thought I would share my latest yogurt smoothie pre running breakfast with you. I’m not a textbook smoothie maker so every one is slightly different, depending on what I have in the fridge, what needs using before it goes out of date or just what I fancy. My eldest child has also started enjoying the smoothies. He knows there is spinach in them but he can never taste it.

This one has Greek yogurt, spinach, milk, avocado, summer fruits, dates, a good helping of seeds and walnuts.

– Becca

Kerrie and Becca’s London Marathon Blog #1

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Run Besties Run!

So this is my first entry on the blog – and as a woman who likes to have  a plan I have spent the last few months reading about how to cross the finish line in one piece.  I am now a small fountain of knowledge on positive mantra’s,  vaseline for chafing….ouch, blister plasters, zinc oxide tape and the joys of ‘Gels’ to keep you going ( but hopefully not ‘Going’!) I have a plan written specifically for the ‘non marathon runner’ which we are sticking to (pretty much…..) and have had my ‘gait’ analysed … flat footed and over pronator … so attractive to see your bum running on a treadmill, having seen a badger run once… I have the style but not the speed.

I started running at 40… purely because I hadn’t exercised anything other than my mouth for a good 10 years and felt I needed to be able to catch my son when he raced across the playground. Running worked for me as you don’t need any special kit ( HA! the naivety of that statement….) and you can go when you want to go.  No gym class times to stick to. Aside from exercising my heart and body, running also gives me time to think, a type of therapy really.

I am not good at it so I have to focus all my energies on breathing and not falling over (most of the time… spectacular fail in December when I literally ‘smashed my face in’ running up a hill…) so having brain ‘down time’ is very healthy and that’s how it feels for me.

Having completed the hellish hilly Worcester Half Marathon last May with Bec and a few other friends the full 26.2 miles seemed the next step and I knew I needed to do it for a charity I felt strongly about so I could stay motivated.

So here we are, 16.68 miles in, sore hips, sore feet but deep down, loving it a bit and hoping to raise some funds for the children’s service.

– Kerrie

Besties to take on London Marathon Challenge

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Two best friends with the same surname, both from Droitwich, have set themselves the extreme challenge of completing the London Marathon this year, in aid of two West Midlands sexual violence charities.

Kerrie Best and Becca Best have been friends since their sons met at nursery, and the pair started running together two years ago. They completed the Worcester Half Marathon in 2017 and started training for the London Marathon in November in order to raise money for the Children and Young People’s Services at West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) and Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC).

As a Project Worker and Counsellor at WMRSASC Kerrie cites her reason for the challenge as being due to “seeing young children come across our doors at WMRSASC. They shouldn’t have to come, however, as long as they do need support it should be available, no waiting list, for as long as it takes.”

Both women have described the challenge as the hardest they have ever signed up to but are determined to see it through and raise as much money as they can. They currently train three times a week with a mixture of aqua aerobics, gym and running, with an additional long run every weekend, where to date they have surpassed 16.5 miles.

As part of the fundraising, there will be an online auction of a beautiful necklace donated by Anja Potze which will begin on 25th February and end on 4th March, further details can be found on the WMRSASC Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wmrsasc

To donate, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/Besties4

30th Anniversary Rockfest

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rockfest-picWest Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) is pleased to announce that we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year and are holding an all day Rockfest fundraising event at the Marrs Bar, Worcester on Saturday, October 15th to mark the occasion. Featuring music from SoulStripper, Foreign Quarter, Connor Maher Quartet, Thousand Mountain, Skewwhiff, Hipflask Virgins, Calm Like a Riot, Rich Clarke and Surge. MadSnacks Killa Tacos will be in the building selling their awesome tacos to keep your energy levels at 11 plus there will be a vinyl shop and raffle with all proceeds going to the charity.

WMRSASC is a free, confidential and non-judgemental support service for individuals aged 11 years and over who have experienced any form of rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives. Over the past three decades our organisation has provided continual support for survivors in the community. During the year 2015-16 we provided face to face support to 1679 clients and received 1319 helpline calls throughout Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Come along and get some top notch high voltage rock and roll directly to your earholes whilst earning excellent karma points by helping WMRSASC to provide support for survivors of sexual violence and abuse in our local community.

Tickets are £5 advance from www.wegottickets.com/event/373403 or £7 on the door. Doors open at 3.30pm.

Pound the Bounds fundraising walk

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Staff, volunteers and friends of the organisation will be walking to raise money for West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre on Sunday, May 4th 2014.

‘Pound the Bounds’ was first held in 2000 and more walkers join in every year. The routes take walkers through all kinds of terrain including woodland, pasture, riverside and meadow.

Our fundraisers will be tackling the nine mile route and would welcome any sponsorship and donations, however small (or large!)

Please click on the link www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/boundpounders to make an online donation, all proceeds go to WMRSASC.

Volunteers Needed!

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We are looking for volunteers in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area who have fundraising and / or PR and marketing experience and would like to donate some of their expertise to helping our organisation. 

All volunteers must attend our 30 hour nationally accredited training course prior to any work being carried out at, or on behalf of, the Centre.

For further information or an application pack please contact our main office on 01905 611655 or email joanne.moores@wrsasc.org.uk.