Kieron Dyer appointed as ambassador for childhood sexual abuse charity Fresh Start - new beginnings
PUBLISHED: 23:03 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 25 April 2018
A charity for victims of childhood sexual abuse in Suffolk and Norfolk has appointed former Ipswich Town and England footballer Kieron Dyer as its latest ambassador.
Fresh Start – new beginnings has announced the former Town star will take up the role after the February launch of his autobiography – Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late – revealed childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a relative.
The Ipswich-based charity was formed in 2012, working with children and young people up to the age of 21 who have reported being sexually abused to take away the blame, shame and feelings of guilt and offers support for families.
Since Fresh Start – new beginnings was formed over 1,000 referrals have been made to the charity.
Dyer, 39, who also played for Newcastle, West Ham and QPR and earned 33 England caps, said: “I’ve carried my secret for twenty years. I tried to live life as if nothing had happened, but that just wasn’t possible.
“I felt I couldn’t speak out and I became suspicious and untrusting.
“The work that is done at Fresh Start – new beginnings is outstanding. They help children and young people to rebuild their lives after suffering abuse and I am so pleased to join them.
“I hope my story encourages other victims to come forward and access the support which is available.”
David Hockley, chief executive of Fresh Start – new beginnings, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Kieron as an ambassador.
“A local lad, he was a gifted footballer for club and country. Along with many others I admire his bravery and honesty in disclosing the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, and hope that by becoming our ambassador this will encourage other people to come forward.
“At Fresh Start – new beginnings we will help every child in Suffolk and Norfolk who has disclosed sexual abuse to recover from their trauma symptoms.
“Our service is free of charge to children and families but costs the charity around £2,500 per referral.”
Kieron joins Minnie Moll, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op, who was appointed ambassador in November 2017.