If survivors of sexual abuse are the lifeblood of Survivors Manchester, then the involvement of male survivors in the organisation are the beating heart.
From the founder of the organisation, to those within the staff team; from the volunteers to the board and beyond to our Ambassadors; male survivors really do have a voice in the strategic development and operational delivery of services and interventions. Male survivor voices can be heard in our campaigning, education and lobbying; whereas in our imagery and designs, male survivors are highly visible.
Since we opened the doors in 2009, its been vital to the organisation that male survivors are front and centre – the first services we offered to male survivors were designed by male survivors for male survivors; and as the years have gone by and we’ve introduce new services, projects or programmes, male survivors have stayed involved in our growth.
There are a number of ways in which male survivors can be involved:
For some, volunteering is a great way to improve skills, develop talents and gain experience that can be useful in employment; whilst for others, it can be a way of giving back to communities or being part of an organisation or project attached to a cause that is important to them. It is not uncommon for many people that use our support services to want to give back and volunteer some of their time to help. We always welcome any offer of help and support and we will try our best to match people’s skills and experiences to a volunteering role. We may not have a role suitable or even available at that time and so we will always keep people on file and let them know as soon as a position becomes available.
The current volunteer roles available are:
- Peer-Group Volunteer
- Community Support Volunteer
- Expert Council Member
- Campaign Volunteer
As we reach further across Greater Manchester and raise more awareness, then we will develop more opportunities to engage volunteers so keep your eyes peeled. If you want to find other volunteering opportunities, then check out the national volunteering database at Do-It where you will find thousands of adverts and organisations looking for help.
Service User Council
Whilst Survivors Manchester has many stakeholders, those male survivors that use or have used our services are one of the key stakeholders we count on.
How do we know what we’re doing is right? What about when we get it wrong? How do we keep meeting the needs of our beneficiaries?
Well we do it with our Service User Council – an evolution of our original service user group – Expert Advisory Panel, is so important to the present and future of the organisation.
The Council is made up of a group of past and present service users, representing the widest possible spread of demographics, the broadest lived experience of sexual abuse trauma, and vast of experiences of engaging in our services; all to give the Management and Trustees the best possible understanding of how effective we are in meeting the needs of those we serve.
Council members serve a term of one year, with both co-chair’s serving a term of two years, but can be re-elected by the council for no more than three terms of office.
The Council meet every 6 weeks to discuss their views of the organisation, the services its delivering, and the current opinions by council members on the needs of male survivors in Greater Manchester and beyond. The Chief Executive Officer and Operations Director take it in turns, on an alternating basis, to join the meeting to provide information to the council on the numbers of survivors using the services and any key developments or events/campaigns from the organisation.
The purpose of the Council meetings is to share knowledge and create a feedback loop between the two parties to create one bigger plan.
An engagement event is held every 3 months, hosted by the council, which is open to any individual accessing the services as a way to ensure that we share all our knowledge widely.
If you are interested in becoming part of this exciting feedback loop, then drop us a line by clicking here.