Service Director Blog: April 2013
Can anyone tell me where the last three months went?
Today is 1 April, April Fools Day and I feel like i’ve had a trick played on me… someone stole the first three months of 2013! It just goes to show though how busy we have been with service delivery and developments.
So first of all, i’d like to personally apologise for not updating my blog as promised. I hope that the rest of what i have to say explains why it’s been missing.
So to start with, everyone at Survivors Manchester wishes you all a very Happy New Year (albeit belated). I hope that the first quarter of this new year has been fruitful and inspiring, it absolutely has been for us.
At the beginning of the year, we welcomed a new trustee to the board, Fran Healy. Fran is highly experienced Accountant and bring with her a wealth of skills in working with operational teams to develop their budgets, business plans and performance management processes. I am delighted to welcome Fran and am looking forward to working closely with her and the board in 2013.
In February, we celebrated our 4th Birthday! Its so hard to believe that we are 4 already. We have achieved so much in such a short space of time. Since we opened our doors, we have seen over 300 boys and men looking for support; delivered over 600 counselling sessions; therapeutically facilitated over 264 hours of group support; engaged 20 lads in a project resulting in the production of 3,500 self-help guides written by male survivors for male survivors; and engaged a further 11 lads in a 10 week positive psychology course. Some pretty impressive numbers there, if I do say so myself!
As I said at Christmas, we have seen a huge increase in requests for help and support, with 42% more people having contacted us at that point than in the whole last year. As I write now, I can tell you that by the end of our financial year (Feb 2013), that figure rose to 49%. In this ‘post-saville’ era, and especially in Manchester with the local news constantly reporting on the investigations into the allegations against Cyril Smith, a teacher(s) at Cheetham’s School of Music and RNCM, Stuart Hall, Fred Talbot and Michael Le Vell, the triggering of past unwanted memories is causing many people great distress and hence, many men are coming forward asking for support. And for years we have been trying to prove to the authorities, commissioners and decision makers just how much we could help, in fact, just how much a small investment in Survivors Manchester could save health budgets and the local economy. Well we were finally listened to and NHS Manchester provided us with funds to not only provide more counselling sessions and pathways to our therapy services, but to develop our volunteer-led telephone helpline and mentoring/befriending scheme.
So now do you see why I have been so absent from my blog?
This financial development has enabled us to bring in more staff support and I am delighted to be able to formally welcome John and Tom.
John is our new Project Worker and as well as helping me to develop our services, he will manage the telephone helpline and provide 1:1 support to boys and men seeking practical support, reporting and getting into counselling and therapy.
Tom is one of our new therapists, bringing with him experience of working within the drugs and alcohol field, mental health and young people.
We also currently talking to another of our new team members to see when she can start providing therapy, giving our service users a choice.
I’m also delighted to be able to announce that Survivors Manchester now has a football team, Survivors Manchester F.C! The team’s kit is sponsored by Zurich Community Trust and managed by Daniel, our Football Team Project volunteer. We hope that this activity will not only help people keep fit, but also break the isolation and give people the opportunity to be together. Remember, abuse happens in isolation, so healing happens together!
And then last but by no means least, we have finished our Survivors Guide Project! This project, funded by The People’s Health Trust and are currently in the process of distribution. The feedback we have had already has been amazing. Check out our Project page by clicking here.
I’m out of breath now!
Even with all this development going on, my main aim is to now secure funding to ensure we can continue to deliver what we have created.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on how you can hep us fundraise, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if you know someone wanting support, you can call us at 07919 246 267 or email email@example.com
Until next time