What services have you used at Survivors Manchester and what is your honest experience of them?
I’m not sure the official name of the services I made use of but I imagine it was called trauma therapy? My experience was honestly really good. Thankfully I had a therapist who was pretty similar in age to myself, and for me that was a little daunting at first, but then I came to really value that about the therapy. It meant there was room for a mutual understanding on certain things. Also, it was really good to go through therapy with somebody who has suffered through some of the same things I had; that was important, because previously I’d met with therapists who have had no idea what I’m going through. There was no pressure in the sessions either, which I really liked, because some days I just came in and didn’t really say much. That was sometimes because of where I was at emotionally (or psychologically), but either way my therapist was respectful of that. All round my experience was fantastic.
Why did you decide to become a member of the EAP?
At first I didn’t really know how I wanted to be involved with Survivors Manchester, I just knew I wanted to support their cause in some way. When Duncan heard I was looking to become an ambassador and get involved in some way, he called about the EAP. It sounded like a perfect role for me, mainly due to my first hand experience of their services, but also I think I have a lot to offer in other ways. I’m excited to see how the EAP can help Survivors Manchester grow and enhance their services to those who really need them.
What do you like about Survivors Manchester?
I love that it’s available in Manchester. There needs to be a service like this available in every city in the country, honestly! It’s actually difficult to think about those outside of Manchester who may be missing out on the help I received. I love how personable the team are, and how completely understanding they are of the issues people bring into their therapy rooms. They’re not ignorant to the problems survivors of sexual abuse face, and that’s so important! I feel so grateful I was supported by Survivors Manchester.
What things do you think Survivors Manchester can improve on?
I think there are many ways Survivors Manchester can reach people and make their services more accessible. Whether that be through having a presence on the streets in the city centre informing people about the service, or maybe even having more frequent evening classes/group sessions to give people who are suffering a safe space to spend a little time in.
I think it would be brilliant to somehow make therapy sessions more accessible to those who are in full time employment. I know during my sessions it was sometimes difficult to arrange my next session due to work commitments. I’d love to see the services grow enough in order to provide more sessions maybe on weekends or even just later evening sessions.
I’d also love to see some way of incorporating “significant others” in the service. For instance, maybe allowing some way for those close to the survivors who don’t really understand what’s going on and what abuse truly looks like to be enlightened somehow and informed on what some people have encountered and how they can be supported in their journey of recovery.
What would you like to achieve as a member of the EAP during your term of office?
I’d like to see the service become more well known in the city and even use my creativity to somehow inform others of why people may need to use this service. For instance, using music/theatre to make it less of a taboo topic and hopefully encourage more people to come forward and talk about things freely, in a safe place like Survivors Manchester. I wish I had come across a service like this when I was a lot younger, but sadly I was in my mid 20’s when I finally spoke out about my abuse. I’d love to see more young people come forward and find a little freedom.