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‘We’re here for you’ – charity ensures support continues for survivors

PUBLISHED: 11:08 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 23 March 2020

Fiona Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Survivors in Transition, at the Access Community Awards 2019  Picture: ACTION COMMUNITY TRUST

Fiona Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Survivors in Transition, at the Access Community Awards 2019 Picture: ACTION COMMUNITY TRUST

2019 Julian Claxton Photography

A support service for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse has praised staff for ensuring its more than 200 users can continue to receive help.

Clare Wilson, co-founder and operations manager of Survivors in Transition, at the Access Community Awards 2019  Picture: ACTION COMMUNITY TRUSTClare Wilson, co-founder and operations manager of Survivors in Transition, at the Access Community Awards 2019 Picture: ACTION COMMUNITY TRUST

Many of those assisted by local charity Survivors in Transition are considered highly vulnerable due to mental health issues and underlying health conditions related to childhood trauma.

Last week, staff implemented a raft of measures to continue offering support at a time when many people are being urged to isolate themselves to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Managers made the decision last Tuesday to close the support centre in Fore Street, Ipswich, which will be managed daily but will not be open to the public.

Anyone with a scheduled appointment was contacted and informed about postponements.

Operations manager and cofounder Clare Wilson said staff worked tirelessly to implement plans to work from home.

In a joint message with CEO Fiona Ellis, she said: “We remain proud and humbled by how effectively we have been able to implement changes to an essential service in Suffolk.”

By the end of last week, all clients had been triaged and contacted as staff made use of remote working software.

The charity continues to receive referrals, assess new clients and further support existing clients.

Anyone affected by childhood sexual abuse is encouraged to continue to contact Survivors in Transition via phone, email or at survivorsintransition.co.uk.

In a message to clients, the charity said: “We appreciate this may be a really difficult time for you. We’re here for you.”

The government has said there may be a shift towards emotional and practical support being provided remotely by services due to advice on social distancing.

The following specialist helplines are available to all victims and witnesses of crime:

•Victim Support operates a free support line for anyone who has been a victim or witness of crime, on 0808 1689 111, with information also at victimsupport.org.uk.

•The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247, with information also available at nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

•Women’s Aid runs a webchat at chat.womensaid.org.uk from Monday to Friday 10am-12pm.

•Citizens Advice provides support to victims and witnesses required to attend court. Self-referrals can be made online.

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