Suffolk charity Fresh Start new beginnings receives £280,000 grant from National Lottery Community Fund
A Suffolk charity that provides support for children and young people in the county who have been victims of sexual abuse has received a £280,000 boost.
Fresh Start new beginnings, based in Ipswich, offers therapeutic and support services for children up to the age of 18 who have reported sexual abuse, and their families.
The new funding, which will be delivered over three years and comes from the National Lottery Community Fund, comes amid national figures showing a major increase in reports of sexual abuse between young people.
Patsy Johnson-Cisse, managing director, said: “Our National Lottery funding is so gratefully received and will make an incredible impact on our work – which we know can be simply life changing for young people and their families."
The funding comes as the charity has welcomed new team members including three support workers and six new trustees.
"I’m delighted to welcome our new team members and our volunteer trustees who will each make such a difference to the services we deliver," Patsy added.
“The pandemic posed a range of challenges to us and every other charity.
"The people we support had many of their support mechanisms taken away during lockdown and were kept hidden from some of the professionals who we depend on in spotting the signs and reporting concerns.
"It also stripped us of the ability to run fundraising events and activities which are crucial to our income.
“As a positive, it has given us the chance to re-set, to evaluate our demand and our services and to plan enhanced support for our young people and their families, based on their needs.
"Recent national figures show the crucial need for understanding the context of sexual abuse, with so much of this occurring between young people in schools.
"Our aim is to be here for every young person who needs us and our new funding and strengthened team means we’re on our way to making that happen.”
Helen Bushell, senior head of Regional Funding for London, South East and East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The pandemic has greatly impacted access to support services for so many, which is why charities like Fresh Start new beginnings are all the more vital as we continue to emerge from what has been a difficult period.”
Currently, Fresh Start new beginnings supports around 200 children across Norfolk and Suffolk each year.
The new funding will enable at least 40 children or young people to access its services, which have been shown to reduce the harmful impacts of trauma, such as depression and anxiety.
Further information on the charity can be found at: www.fsnb.org.uk