Sexual assault support centre for children and young adults opens in Ipswich

Tim Passmore and Lynn Ambrose (SARC manager) are pictured at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SAR

Tim Passmore and Lynn Ambrose (SARC manager) are pictured at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), known as The Ferns in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A specialist centre dedicated to providing support to young victims of rape and sexual assault has opened in Suffolk.

The new facility has been set up at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) so adults and children who are victims can receive extra support. A specialist advisor will be available for children affected.

The launch of the improved facilities at the centre, known as The Ferns, now means child victims will be taken to a single location – the SARC – where everything from the initial report and examination through to giving evidence at a future court case can be carried out if required.

Lynn Ambrose, manager of The Ferns said: “These improved facilities will allow us to provide a better service to children and young people who have been the victim of sexual abuse.

“We know that the whole process of reporting an incident can be traumatic both for individuals and family members and want to do all we can to make this as easy and comfortable as it can be under the circumstances.

“Making the environment more welcoming and child-friendly can help children and young people and the distraction system is designed to help them concentrate on something else while, if necessary, medical processes are carried out.”

The project has been funded by Suffolk Constabulary and NHS England – with The Friends of The Ferns charity also raising money.

Most Read

Children at the centre can watch a range of adventure films by wearing 3D glasses while being examined. Linked to this is a pain and anxiety management system which can judge a child’s emotions as they are shown images.

Police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, secured a government grant of more than £240,000 to support services for victims of crime.

He said: “I am absolutely in awe of the impressive work that is carried out by Lynn and her team at the SARC and am extremely pleased to see this further investment in their invaluable work.

“If someone comes to the SARC as a victim they have already been subjected to a vile crime and it is our duty to make sure that they are treated as sensitively and sympathetically as possible, I believe that this referral centre provides that invaluable care.”

The centre, based on Ransomes Europark in Ipswich, was opened with a ceremony earlier today.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter