survivors manchester

Trauma informed therapist

Subo starting her career as a counsellor. However, joint the corporate world for a very different experience in the world of management training. However, knew that her heart was always in psychotherapy and decided to embark on her training in becoming a psychologist. She is trained in existential psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and EMDR. She is a registered member of the BACP. Subo has experience working with people who have suffered trauma and torture due to war in various charities in London and the NHS. She also has work extensively with people who have symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression and grief.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Having worked with a majority of men in the past I realised how much harder it is for men to speak about their problems and feeling due to various reasons (Shame, guilt, self-image to state a few). I understand form my own personal experience what little help men have and access. The ethos of Survivors Manchester and the way in which they work gives me a sense of privilege and honour to be a part of.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I would love for it grow as an organisation and reach people from all walks of life within Manchester and far beyond.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

You are not alone!

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

Being new to Manchester I love the people! Really warm and welcoming and feels like home (being so far away from it).

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Our Team

Back

Here at Survivors Manchester, we provide a variety of online, offline, 1:1 and group support services direct to self identifying male survivors, along with their friends and their families, often referred to as ‘loved ones’.

As an organisation we also provide workshops and input into training courses to health and social care professionals, Police and legal professionals, public authorities and private sector, faith leaders and communities, teachers and students, and the voluntary sector.

Every single member of our amazing team are 100% committed to supporting those directly and indirectly affected by the sexual violation of boys and men, with some of the team having lived experience themselves.

We work in a non-oppressive, trauma informed and male focused manner and do not support any form of discrimination, whether on the grounds of gender, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, HIV status, parental status, socio-economic class, or criminal history. All of our team understand the need for individuals to be able to generate their own identity and we are positive about all male and non-binary identities.

Our Team Structure

In order to ensure that everyone knows how they fit into the organisation, we developed a simple reporting structure that shows us who is responsible for formally managing and supporting whom. We call this our organigram and its reviewed bi-monthly to ensure that its fit for purpose, particularly as we grow and develop further.

Meet YOUR Team

It is said that people make an organisation and here at Survivors Manchester we believe this is true. Our strong, dedicated, highly experienced and qualified staff team are so supportive of the work they carry out and of each other that it truly reflects on the delivery of our services. Each member of the team fits neatly into what we call our ‘Organisational Governance Structure’ which gives the organisation structure and an understanding of accountability and responsibility.

Click on the name of any of our team to see what they have to say:

Trauma Informed Therapist

Billie spent a decade working in drug and alcohol services and was becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of support options for the men who had experienced sexual abuse and rape. She worked alongside Duncan back in the day when he managed the Community Detox Team and he (strongly) encouraged her to do her therapy training, from then she has had a passion for working with trauma and supporting people to live the life they want.

She followed in his footsteps and completed her MA in Integrative Counselling at Manchester University and completed her dissertation alongside Survivors Manchester. Billie initially joined the team back in 2015 and worked for us for 3 years before going off for a year to have her son but couldn’t wait to be back with the team. Billie is passionate about supporting men to have the difficult conversations and breaking down barriers to talking about sexual abuse.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Duncan! He inspired me (and many others I am sure) to do my training so I always knew this was where I wanted to be. I remember reading an old client’s psychological report around the effects his abuse had on him and felt outraged that there were no specific services to support him with his healing – I knew then this was a field I wanted to work in. I enjoy working with men and supporting them to find the language to explore their experiences and move on from their trauma and I love the organisation for the ground-breaking work it does and that we are never afraid to open the next door to improve our service.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I guess that’s a hard one when we already have such an amazing service but I think it’s about listening to the men who use our service and giving them a voice to shape us as we move forward. There are always things we can do better but we only know that from hearing their feedback so I guess it’s to continue working collaboratively with our service users.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

Let’s talk about sexual abuse – it affects us all and it’s only in talking about it that we will break down the barriers to our dads, grandads, brothers, partners, husbands, sons, uncles and friends getting the support that they deserve.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

Our Manc swagger – as simple as that. We are genuine, we are real and most importantly, we are all a bit rough around the edges.

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Trauma Informed Therapist

Carl spent in total seven years working in a number of roles from support worker to management in the field of mental health and substance dependency in Liverpool, his home city, before re-training as a counsellor, completing a BA (Hons) degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. He then went to work and take placements across the North West in a variety of settings, such as community centres, a school and specialist support centre for both men and woman who had experienced by rape and sexual abuse.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

I joined Survivors Manchester in 2018. I had seen from my experience of working with both men and woman the barriers both genders faced in accessing support. But what struck me most was how men appeared to find it more difficult to reach out for support and even once they have reached out, to speak about the trauma they have experienced. I felt this was in part due to the lack of ubiquitous male specific services, service that understand men, that are specific to their needs. So, when I saw a job vacancy at Survivors Manchester, I knew I had to apply.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I would to see Survivors Manchester become recognised as a pillar of excellence and standard-bearer for male specific support services in Manchester and nationwide.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

When you are ready, know there is a safe and supportive space here waiting.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

I feel Manchester is becoming my second home, it has a fantastic vibrant culture that I just cannot get enough of.

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Operations Lead

Raised in Blackley in the 1980s, Chris was never really sure what he wanted to do for a career but then found himself spending 12 years in the catering industry, working in the city centre of Manchester, where he gained his management and organisation skills.

Chris states that he will always have a passion for food but felt like it was his time to move on and to start something new.

He began volunteering in the third sector with Survivors Manchester and there found a passion which he wanted to build on his experience and use his existing skills to help the service. Chris then joined the Victim Support administration team and helped with a number of big projects, including the merging of two sites into one.

Chris is happy to be back with Survivors Manchester and having made this choice, he says he looks forward to his future and hopes to be a productive member of the team (we can guarantee he is!)

Family (proud dad) and friends are the greatest part of his personal life and also has a love of football, reading, movies, music, and art.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Having volunteered in the past I always wanted to come back to Survivors Manchester to take on a role full time. After seeing what the team did on a daily basis was inspiring and I knew I wanted to be a part of the organisation. The work ethic and professional attitude of the team and how they related to people using the service was always a big part of my decision to come back.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

Give people the best service and the power back to move forward from their abusive experiences and raise awareness that we are here to help more people who have been silent for too long.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

I’d like residents to support to reducing the stigma associated with male sexual abuse and rape, this does happen to men and they need support whether from historic or current abuse. We all need to show respect and give support to the people of Manchester and stop any children or adults from going through this.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

Born and raised here all my family and friends are here, a great mix of people and for me it’s a city on the rise with a bright future.

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Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)

Born and raised in South Manchester, Daniel comes from a thirteen year career as a Hairdresser/ Barber, gaining numerous of Qualifications along the way. Within his career Daniel has experience of working within Pub Management and being a Male Nanny ‘Manny’. Daniel has lived not only in Manchester but Windsor, Mallorca and Gran Canaria. Daniel is now based back in his home town to start the new journey of his career…

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

As a survivor of Rape, I was a service user with Survivors Manchester, engaging in The Safe Room and the Drop In services for over 16 months. I grew as a person and became proud to break my silence and share my personal story as well my own journey because of how Survivors Manchester supports and cares for you as an individual not just a number.

Having that feeling of a Full Circle moment.

As my new role is starting as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor I cannot wait to support and guide our clients who are ready to break their silence, break down the myths, misconceptions of what it is to be a survivor. I now have that platform to showcase my personal growth.

I have always had a passion and interested in Crime and Justice and when I saw that Survivors Manchester were looking to expand their ISVA team, I knew I had to apply! And join an incredible team who are breaking down the barriers of gender misconception, this is something I want to be apart off. Changing for the better….

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

Continuing our Support Services we offer to Survivors. And also expanding our services.
Engaging more with local organisations by delivering factual awareness about Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation and Rape. Allowing an individual to recognise the signs, who then may feel comfortable to break their silence.
Also one day I personally would like to use my skill set as Barber, to help out those who struggle with public surroundings or are finically restricted because ‘beautiful hair is a habit not a gift’.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

I do!
I personally thought I would be defined by my rape. That was because I was unware of how I can be a proud and confident person (after numerous of breakdowns and therapy) I can proudly say I am defining it by becoming an ISVA.
Never let anything define you, you are the owner of your own destiny and journey.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

As a social butterfly, the NIGHTLIFE! However it is the culture, the history Manchester has on offer.
I also love how Mancunians interact, we inform you all about our day, dramas and family from just a ‘Hello, You alright?’ and that’s just in the supermarket when packing your shopping! Strangers, not in Manchester because we are a proud community and that’s our bond!

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CEO & Trauma Focused Therapist

Duncan spent the first 10 years of his working life in the theatre, arts and entertainment. Beginning at Granada Studios Tour, to the Palace Theatre and Opera House, then People’s History Museum to travelling across the UK as Director of PR and Marketing touring the UK with some of the best shows to come out of the West End and Broadway.

In 2005, Duncan began his training to become a qualified counsellor and decided to have a complete career change after volunteering in a busy City Centre needle exchange. He spent the next few years working within a voluntary sector drug service both in harm reduction and treatment services, specialising in working with male and female sex workers, people affected by HIV and Hepatitis C, and in sexual health.

Duncan qualified from the University of Manchester as an Integrative Counsellor in 2008, having completed his clinical practice in both a voluntary and NHS setting. Always looking for ways to develop his professional practice, Duncan has completed a MA in Counselling, graduating 2010 with Distinction, and plans on developing his work further to undertake his PhD.

It was during his initial training as a therapist that Duncan began to uncover, raise his awareness and finally disclose the sexual abuse and rape he experienced in his childhood and in his later teens. Unable to find the support he needed was the catalyst to designing a service for males in Greater Manchester.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

When I was looking for support in Manchester and realised that there was none for male survivors of historic abuse, I knew I had to do something and make sure that whatever was created had to be ethical, professional and more than fit for purpose. I now want Survivors Manchester to be able to offer a first class service to adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, regardless of when the event happened.

I would like to see Survivors Manchester work with other services in the community to get the message out there that men are suffering in silence and it doesn’t need to be that way!

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

Please open your eyes and begin to see that men can be victims too!

Sexual abuse affects us all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, disability. We need to work together to give support to those affected, in order for them to move forward and make positive life choices.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

The people! Manchester is so diverse and communities really do come together, especially in times of need. We have so many first’s here! To pick one… it would have to be the vast array of arts venues on offer, from the Palace Theatre to Royal Exchange, Odeon to Cornerhouse.

Professional Membership

Duncan is an accredited member of the BACP and adheres to the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is also a member of the EMDR Association UK and Ireland.

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Operations Assistant

Everton is from Brazil and has recently arrived in Manchester. His wife has got a job opportunity at the University of Manchester and they have lived here since May 2019. He spent the majority of his life working with IT and enjoying family and friends. In order to experience living abroad as well as improve his English, he stayed for a while in Canada. It was there that he saw his first child comes to the world, experience that has changed him as a human being.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

There were many reasons for applying to work at Survivors Manchester, but the main reason was the opportunity to develop my social work working, helping, and supporting individuals and communities that are in need.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I would like to seek Survivors Manchester reaching, helping, and supporting more young people.

Do you have a message for Great Manchester residents?

You will never walk alone!!! You will always find support at Survivors Manchester. We will be always there for you.

What is your favourite thing about Manchester

I love the city’s architecture, in each corner we can see history and culture. That is fascinating.

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Independent Sexual Violence Advisor

Born and raised in North Manchester, in one way or another, Gayna’s work has always involved supporting individuals with a range of vulnerabilities and complex needs.

Experienced in various roles and settings within Social Care, including Residential & Community Mental health, Homeless Residential Support, Substance Recovery and Engagement and Community Detox.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

I first met Duncan about 10 years ago when I was a volunteer on the needle exchange at Lifeline. Duncan was my mentor initially and later my line manager when I successfully applied for a paid position as a community detox worker.

While working with Duncan I learned about his vision for Survivors Manchester and gained knowledge about male sexual violence, exploitation and the lasting impact on male Survivors. A number of the male clients we worked with had suffered child sexual abuse, so having Duncan as my Team Leader was valuable in helping me understand the legacy issues and trauma those clients may be dealing with.
About two years after leaving Lifeline, I was offered my first position with Survivors Manchester as Outreach & Engagement Worker on the ‘Safer Streets Manchester’ Child Sexual Exploitation project. Then in January 2017 a role was created with a need to expand the ISVA service and I was offered the opportunity to complete my ISVA training.

I already loved working for Survivors Manchester and this was another exiting, challenging opportunity for me stay with the organisation, grow, learn new skills, and continue to make a positive difference.

The men we support are a true inspiration. The strength and determination these men have is incredible. The feedback we receive from our clients is evidence that the work we do is valuable.

Not everybody gets to work for an organisation that they can honestly say they are really very proud to be a part of.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

Make Survivors Manchester more visible and to reach the men who don’t know we’re here.

Sadly, our prisons are full of men who are there due to the direct impact and legacy issues of suffering sexual abuse as children and/or in adulthood. There’s also a population of men that have suffered sexual violence whilst in prison – and although we already do some brilliant work offering therapy to these men, I would like to see the ISVA service expand to meet their needs.

There are so many barriers for men when it comes to reporting, being in prison shouldn’t be one of them!

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

I have two messages.

After learning about the issues related to male sexual abuse and rape and the lack of resources and support, I found myself opening up discussions at home with my family and friends. I wasn’t surprised that the issue was not an easy thing to talk about for some people. So, my message is… Taboo subjects will remain taboo if we don’t discuss them. The silence can’t be broken if we do not talk.

If you’ve suffered sexual violence, telling anyone may feel impossible, so considering reporting to the police can be very frightening.

There is no right or wrong, no should or shouldn’t, when it comes to reporting to the police. The choice is yours.
Myself and Trevor can give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. No pressure or judgment – we will support you whether you decide to report or not.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

It’s got to be my sense of belonging, walking down the street and feeling right at home…the community spirit, the energy and realness of Manchester and its people.

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Operations Assistant

Jamie has a keen interest in sports, which led him to undertake a degree in Sports Development and Management at Edge Hill University. It was whilst at university that he learnt about the incredible work that Survivors Manchester are doing, when our CEO, Duncan Craig, did a guest lecture on supporting and working with male survivors of abuse. This inspired Jamie to research and examine the stories of several elite athletes who have been sexually abused for his dissertation. Whilst writing his dissertation he was provided with a desk in the Survivors Manchester office, which he says provided him with an understanding of the essential work the organisation does and gave him that extra motivation to complete his work.

Being at the start of his career and having recently completed an MSc in Sports, Physical Activity and Mental Health, he hopes to continue being a productive member of the team, learning more about the impacts unwanted sexual violence can have on male survivors and to help continue making a difference.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Having been provided with the amazing opportunity to have a space within the Survivors Manchester office to complete my university work, I was able to see what incredible work the team are doing. So, when I was offered to opportunity to come in and be a part of the organisation, it filled me with pride and something I was excited to do.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

To continue giving people the opportunity to access such an amazing organisation that offers such a variety of quality support services. Without Survivors Manchester being here, it would be so much more difficult for male survivors to make that first step in healing and moving forward.

Additionally, I would like to see Survivors Manchester team up with sports governing bodies, organisations and clubs to develop campaigns aimed at educating the sports community about sexual exploitation within sport.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

That men can be victims of sexual abuse and rape too. We need to work together to support those that have been affected and help them move forward by reducing the stigma that is associated with the sexual abuse and rape of men. Let’s come together, shout loud and help raise as much awareness as possible about the impact and presence of sexual abuse and rape.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

As a massive music fan, I would have to say that. Manchester has seen and is still seeing some incredible musical talents and artists come out of the city, and I have lost

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Group and Community Development Officer

Born and raised in Cheshire in the early nineties, Jeff fad a love for music, art and footy. He had various jobs growing up from working in a bacon factory and working for warehouses and removal companies.

It was when he was in his twenties he decided to train as croupier here in Chinatown Manchester.

After 10 years working and living in Manchester in the casinos and also for Royal Caribbean cruise line he decided to change career. Volunteering for NSPCC Childline Manchester was his first step, then volunteering for a community sports project within a drug and alcohol service.

Later he worked for Change Grow Live as a young person’s substance misuse worker and then later he was one of the first Social Prescribers in Manchester working for the BeWell service at the big life group.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

As a survivor of CSA I found it a very lonely road and one that not many understood. As 13/14 year old, I found myself at the local library in Cheshire to access Self-help books about sexual abuse and it’s impact. There was not much help/support in the early nineties for male survivors.

Luckily I accessed support from Survivors Manchester in 2017 after watching the ex-football players speak out on national TV. I thought how brave of these men to speak about something most people want to close their ears to or shut out.

After accessing survivors Manchester I received 10 one to one sessions of pretrial therapy(or healing steps) and was appointed an ISVA (Gayna). Now my work colleague, who would support me through the police process and during the trial at Liverpool crown Court.

I also accessed the drop-in and the safe room, it was here I felt an overwhelming empathy to help and support all these men and boys who share these similar experiences and aftermath of trauma.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

As a greater Manchester organisation, I would like to see more safe rooms and drop-in support available at different locations throughout Greater Manchester. I would also like the men and boys we support to feel safe and welcome in their own community, free from guilt and shame that does not belong to them.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

You can’t change the past but you are in control of your future. You have the power of choice to change this if you wish. Be kind to yourself and others.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

I think the range of diverse people that reside here, It’s a place with lots of hidden gems, mills with cinemas, restaurants and bars with views across the city, the music, the buskers on Market Street, Central Library and all the amazing buildings. The creative scene and the strength of the people together to overcome anything that life throws their way.

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Trauma Informed Therapist

Marcia came to Therapy later in life. She has a background in business and media and has worked for the BBC for many years as an Assistant Director, before deciding to re- train as a therapist. Marcia worked in the Health and Social care sector over a 7 year period, which gave her the much experience of supporting adults who have learning disabilities, ADHD, ADD and individuals who are on the autistic spectrum.

Marcia also managed staff teams whilst working in Health and Social Care, around staff training, budgeting, scheduling, staff appraisals and the day to day running of a service.

She is a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Person Centred Counsellor dividing her working time between NHS mental health services and Survivors Manchester, she incorporates Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy into her therapeutic work.

Marcia joined the Survivors team in 2016 as a Trauma Informed Therapist, where she works with common mental health disorders, as well as more complexed cases like psychosis, bi-polar disorder, body dysmorphic disorder and complex trauma.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

I’ve followed the work that Survivors do for a while and as I already worked with female survivors, I was curious about the services available for males. I think Survivors Manchester provides an essential service to those effected by the hidden societal taboo of male sexual abuse.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I would like to see us continuing to do the work we do, and maybe reach out to schools and to wider culturally diverse communities, where abuse is often not talked about or even recognised as a problem.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

My message is that we need to speak out if we see or feel that someone is being abused. We can help make someone’s life a bit easier by letting them know that it’s not their fault, and we believe them; that’s half the battle.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

I could write a massive list here as I love Manchester. My favourite thing has to be its northern-ness. By that I mean the uniqueness of the people, the fact that we can talk the hind legs off a donkey! Everywhere I travel people always ask if I’m from the north of England as I talk on buses, in Taxi’s and to strangers. Mancunians love to talk!

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Trauma Informed Therapist

Richard joined the Survivors Manchester team in September 2019 and like so many of us, brings a diverse background and experience, initially carving out a career in corporate IT & finance, before realising that his heart and passion lay more in people, in hearing their stories and being able to walk alongside them in their journey. A suggestion from t’other half (by the way Richard’s from Yorkshire) to take up a counselling-skills evening class confirmed everything….and several years of study and voluntary experience later ultimately led to him qualifying as a counsellor in 2007.

Since then he has worked in numerous settings including the NHS, local authorities, prisons, police custody suites and also a significant amount of time in the field of substance misuse, both working as a front-line worker and subsequently managing a multi-disciplinary team across the criminal justice system.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Growing up in close-knit working-class northern communities, from a young age I had the message driven into me that “we don’t talk about that stuff”, especially if you were a bloke. Yet throughout my life there was so much stuff that I needed to talk to someone about.

For my counselling studies I had to choose a particular agency to research and critique, and I purposely chose a charity that supported men who were victims of abuse. It opened my eyes to the realisation that there was such a cavernous gap in service provision. That research project confirmed for me something that I’d always (and still do) believe, in that we need to redress the balance in men feeling ok to talk.

So when the position came up, I knew it felt right to apply and from day one of being on-board its felt a natural connection with the absolutely amazing team we have at Survivors Manchester.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

Continue to lead the way and be that voice that can be heard and the voice that challenges. The services are clearly evidencing a need for provision for guys across society so let’s continue in doing what we’re doing and hopefully shine the light so that not only Manchester goes from strength to strength, but that other areas take up the baton and begin to engage with guys in their own area, for everyone that needs to break their own silence.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

Keep the conversation going, whether it be to your family, to your friends or colleagues…and reach out when the time is right for you. Talking is what we do best up here.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

So you already know I’m from Yorkshire (don’t hold it against me)….but Manchester has always been the place I’ve been drawn to and offered up its welcoming arms. It was the place that first allowed me to be who I wanted & needed to be, and then subsequently its a city that has drawn me back time and again in my career, my friendships and that continued sense of ‘belonging’. The people, the city, the vibe….I could go on but I’m told there’s a limit on these bio’s….

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Senior Trauma Informed Therapist

Ross is in his final year of a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at The University of Manchester, having previously completed Postgraduate Degrees in Education Psychology, TV and Film production, and Undergraduate Degrees in Design Management and Interactive Design.

Although now firmly entrenched in the field of mental health, Ross has had a rather indirect career path to this point. Past work has included roles in sales and marketing, events management, and art and design. Ross’s decision to follow his heart into this career came out of the four years he spent volunteering for ChildLine and the NSPCC. He has noted that this period helped him not only find the bravery to re-train, but also helped promote him to take healthier steps himself.

While also trained as a counsellor, Ross’s experience as a psychologist has been mostly focused on the interaction between trauma and physical health across the lifespan. In the past this has meant trauma placements centralised around issues of bereavement, cancer, chronic pain and sexual assault.

Although initially meant to only stay with Survivors for a 1 year placement, in March 2018 Ross was offered a role as a trauma-informed therapist. He is trained as a pluralistic therapist with skills in Person-Centred Therapy, and CBT, and is soon to complete training in EMDR. He hopes to finish his doctorate on the ‘effects of online sexual imagery on adolescent development’ by the end of this year.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Working for Survivors Manchester has been an ambition for my career ever since I found out the service existed. It feels like an honour to be able to work as part of a charity that sets out to make such a difference, not just in individual lives, but also within communities and across national policy. A large part of my career and research has been attempting to get men to engage more with support, especially in regards to mental health. So I love that Survivors Manchester sets out to help men break the silence.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I’d like to see Survivors Manchester support other communities of men that might feel that silence is their only option, and help them know that they don’t have to be alone with what they have been through.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

I’m not sure how to answer this question without writing a book. However to put it as briefly as possible; id simply say that it’s okay to talk about these things, that no one deserves to be silenced and that you don’t have to ever be alone with what you have been, and are, going through.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

I love this city, I have done since I was a child. It’s where I grew up and it’s where I worked out who I am. I love the history, the style, the music, and the soul. Even after all these years I still find new things on a monthly basis, so my favourite thing has to be everything new that’s always popping up.

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Trauma Informed Therapist

Simon joined us in February 2017 and is working for us as a Trauma Informed Therapist. Simon completed a 4 year Diploma in Transactional Analysis in 2017 and became a Registered Member of the BACP later that year. Prior to working for us, Simon worked for 42nd Street as a counsellor working with 14-25 year olds in Manchester. His work included supporting young people with anxiety and depressive symptoms, processing grief, eating disorders, and attachment-related issues.

Prior to working as a therapist, Simon spent time working in various roles in the social care sector supporting people with mental health, learning disabilities and acquired brain injury. He also provided training for staff working in these roles.

Simon brings elements of mindfulness, existential, and relational approaches to his work. Simon believes in ‘walking alongside’ clients in order to explore their story and understand their needs. In this way, Simon looks to find the goals and outcomes that are most important for that client at that time.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

I have always had a real passion for working with men, particularly in the field of mental health. I feel, from my own personal experiences, that there is a great deal of shame related to men speaking openly about their mental health which keeps them silent and perpetuates the suffering. As Survivors Manchester is all about breaking the silence of men who have been sexually abused, it felt like a perfect fit with my own values.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I’d like to see us grow as an organisation so we can do more of what we already do so well and reach more people. I’d like to see us engage with those communities that, for whatever reason, rarely engage with mental health services. I think it’s also important we take a role in engaging with other services and the general public to understand the impact of sexual abuse so that it becomes a conversation across the region rather than one that only happens in the therapy room.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

It’s never too late to speak out and ask for some support, whatever that means for you. Every journey begins with a first step.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

The people and the food! I do my best to have plenty of both in my life

Professional membership: Registered Member of BACP

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Trauma Informed Therapist

Stuart comes from a creative background, having worked for many years as a professional musician and then later as a sound engineer and producer in recording studios and concert venues. Other than music, Stuart’s big passion is people! He was drawn to counselling after two very positive experiences as a client in therapy during some very challenging episodes in his life.

Following this he trained as a counsellor, gaining an MA qualification from Manchester University, and has been working therapeutically with all sorts of different people and issues ever since.

Stuart identifies as an integrative therapist, and strongly believes in a flexible and creative approach to working with people, where the therapeutic style and approach is fitted to each person and their unique way of experiencing the world. He has worked in two charitable organisations prior to Survivors Manchester as a counsellor with a whole range of issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, sexual abuse, OCD, self-harm and suicidal ideation, anger management, self-esteem, sexuality and identity issues.

Working as a trauma-focused therapist is a natural progression from Stuart’s other creative activities (he is still an active musician, sound engineer and producer). He believes that every encounter with a client is a golden opportunity to create a meaningful, authentic connection, and this relationship becomes the vehicle for change and a playground for exploring the many different and often paradoxical aspects of ourselves. He believes that allowing those unspeakable experiences and thoughts to be voiced and explored in a safe, supportive environment is central to successful therapy, and this where their effect and impact can be reduced or transformed into something more helpful.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

Survivors Manchester is an amazing charity doing very important work and supporting an under-represented group struggling with some very challenging issues. It is an area I am very passion about working in and I wanted to bring my energy and counselling skills to working with this group of people. The welcoming and supportive ethos of Survivors is a great fit with my personal values and very close to my heart. The effects and fallout from childhood sexual abuse, and adult rape and sexual assault are devastating and far-reaching.

It takes immense courage for survivors to speak out and rise above the legacy of the abuse, and being able to walk alongside some of these brave people on their journey for a while and be involved in some way in their recovery feels very important to me.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

I would love to see the organisation continue to grow in the way that it has done over the last year, and eventually provide a service nationally all over the country. There is a real demand for the service that Survivors delivers and it is great to see that acknowledged and supported by IAPT and those that fund the service. I’m also really pleased that the it’s supporting Greater Manchester Police in the development of the Accord Programme through ‘Change Project‘, a seperate organistion aimed at those who have been abused and are at risk of offending. I believe this is a really important part of the overall picture of reducing offending and making society a safer place for everybody. I hope this area of the organisation continues to grow alongside supporting as many survivors of abuse as possible.

Finally I hope Survivors Manchester will keep speaking out about male sexual abuse and rape and help to encourage others to do the same, and break down the stigma around this subject.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

I have lived in Manchester for almost 15 years and I can say without question there is a lot of love in this city! So my message for Greater Manchester residents is…: You are great! Keep being you, support those that need it, challenge the things you don’t want to accept loudly and passionately, and carry on being the wonderful, diverse and energetic community that makes this city a great place to live!

Mancunians are not known for keeping quiet, and it would be good to see our voices collectively being used as much as possible to raise awareness of the impact and existence of all forms of sexual abuse and violence. Never be scared to have those difficult conversations, as that is what breaks down stigma and ignorance and encourages awareness.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

Undoubtedly the people! Wonderfully diverse, full of beans and sometimes more than a little bit eccentric, but the spirit of this city is second to none. I sometimes go swimming at the Manchester Aquatic Centre, and there is a huge graphic on the wall down there that says: “This is Manchester… we do things differently round here”! That sums it up for me.

I also love the music scene in Manchester, and have lost count of the number of superb gigs I have been to here. And The Sugar Junction in The Northern Quarter do the best Eggs Royale and Oreo Milkshake you can get your hands on!

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Senior Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)

Born and raised in Manchester, Trevor spent the majority of his working life in retail management, before retraining as a social worker in 2010. Now fully qualified, Trevor has experience of working on a number of projects at several organisations, including: the homelessness prevention service for Young People’s Support Foundation (now Centrepoint) and Albert Kennedy Trust ; the ‘Changing Directions’ and ‘Skills for Jobs’ project at Salford Foundation; referral panel member for Manchester Youth Offending Team; volunteer outreach worker for Men’s Room and Safer Streets Manchester – in addition to having worked as a curriculum assistant at a range of secondary schools in Manchester.

Since qualifying in 2014, Trevor has opted to work in the voluntary sector – enjoying the freedom to use more creative ways of working with those in need of support. Having gained experience working with vulnerable young people, male sex workers, and those involved in the criminal justice system, Trevor looked for a new challenge in early 2015 following the end of his contract with YPSF. Having become aware of Survivors Manchester during his social work training, Trevor made it his mission to become a member of the Survivors Manchester Team. When the position of Independent Sexual Violence Advisor became available, Trevor jumped at the chance to apply. Trevor feels that the role is the culmination of all his experience to date, whilst also providing a new challenge. Trevor is incredibly proud to work for Survivors Manchester, even more so of the brave men that come forward to break their silence.

As a survivor of sexual abuse himself, Trevor has always wanted to help other male survivors, particularly given how isolated and scared he felt during his own experience. There was no support available at the time, and Trevor remembers how that feeling of being alone was so debilitating that he thought he would never recover. It took Trevor over a decade to regain a sense of power and control over his life, but having done so, he now feels able to support the lads accessing support through Survivors Manchester to do the same – in whatever way they feel is best for them.

Why did you decide to work for Survivors Manchester?

My reasons for wanting to work for Survivors Manchester are a mixture of my professional aspirations and personal experience of being a survivor myself. Having experienced sexual abuse as both a child and young adult, I feel that this unique perspective helps inform the work I do with the lads accessing our services. In my role as Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, not only do I have the privilege of working with an incredible team; I also get to work with some of the most awe-inspiring and courageous men I’ve ever met – far more brave that I could ever wish to be. Not only that, but I get to inform and educate members of the public and fellow professionals in order to break down the stigma and misconceptions that exist regarding male survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation.

What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in Manchester?

To continue to provide support for men and boys in need…to campaign for real change, not just at a policy and legislative level, but culturally too. There are so many myths and misconceptions around sexual violence generally, and male survivors more specifically, that I feel it is our duty as a service to inform, educate and empower. At some point, I would love to expand the ISVA service to meet the needs of young males under 18 years of age, particularly given my previous experience working with children and young people. I hope that Survivors Manchester continues to build strong bonds with other organisations and agencies to raise awareness and enhance best practice across the Greater Manchester region and beyond.

Do you have a message for Greater Manchester residents?

That Survivors Manchester offers a safe and supportive space where you can explore your thoughts, feelings and experiences. A space where you can begin and/or continue your healing. That it is possible to regain control of your life, and to move towards a positive future. That being a victim of sexual violence doesn’t define you as a person…but being a survivor does. It’s an often lengthy and difficult process, but one that Survivors Manchester will support you with, every step of the way.

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

I’m massively into my music, so I’m really proud of the musical heritage that the city holds. I love the diverse culture that exists, and I’m proud to call myself a Mancunian because of our reputation for being inclusive and open to new influences and experiences.

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Working for Survivors Manchester

We work hard to ensure that we invest in our team members, from training and development opportunities to salary and employment benefits, including our mandatory birthday leave day! From time to time, we have various consultancy, training and employment opportunities which we advertise on our social media platforms (see Twitter or Facebook or Instagram) or on our online Journal. However, to make it even easier for you to see if we have vacancies, we’ve listed them here below:

Employment Vacancies

We’re currently looking for a new member of the ISVA Team. Click here to find out more

Training/Placements

We are often contacted by both Social Work students or trainee Counsellors/Psychotherapists looking for a placement. It is important to us that we invest in the future training of mental health and social care professionals and so we are actively engaged in the training of the professions through lecturing and workshops in such establishments as University of Manchester, Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

However, we are unable to provide placements to students due to the sensitive and complex nature of our work, although it is something we are working hard to develop further. Watch this space for future opportunities.

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Helpline: 0808 800 5005

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