Service Director Blog: December 2012
T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Christmas can be a wonderful time full of fun, family, and friendship. But for some people it can be one of the most difficult times of the year and before I carry on with this month’s blog, I want to just spare a thought for all those struggling at the moment. If you feel isolated, why not connect online. Sites such as MaleSurvivor, Pandora’s Aquarium, Living Well and of course the amazing 1in6 (who we are proud to be friends with a like a good friend, we aspire to be like) offer various ways of connecting and breaking isolation. The wonderful Samaritans are also available 24 hours a day.
At this time of year, people tend to naturally begin to reflect on the past, the present and of course the future, and this is the theme to my blog this month.
Since my last Service Director Blog in September, the world knows more than ever the damage caused by the silence of sexual abuse. I’ve purposefully not made any great statements on the recent press coverage of the Operation Yewtree investigation; the call for re-investigation into the North Wales Children’s Homes or the recent arrests of a number of ‘celebrities’; as there is enough people doing that. Instead i’ve wanted to ensure that Survivors Manchester has been focused on providing the support to male survivors that are being affected by all this coverage. In fact, since all of this, we have seen an increase in requests for help. To date, 42% more people have contacted us asking for help than in the whole of last year!
At the beginning of 2012, we were preparing for our 3rd Birthday as an organisation and wondering what this year would bring us. We knew that our online presence and our support group, the Safe Room, would continue as we had funding from Zurich Community Trust but we didn’t know what else we would be able to do. Back then, we didn’t know that we would be successful with the People’s Health Trust which would enable us to run the Survivors Guide Project and create our very own support publication. We also didn’t know that Victim Support would really live up to their name and be an incredible supporter of our work and the guys we work with – we also didn’t know we would end up opening our fantastic new joint counselling room with the Manchester Victim Care Unit. And how could we have predicted just how much more support Zurich Community Trust would give us, from the work with Martin Robert Hall and the Psychological Edge course to providing us with the funds to buy out very own football kit for Survivors Manchester FC!
So what’s in store for us in 2013! Well we will be working hard to secure some funds that will allow us to increase service delivery to meet the seriously ever increasing demand on support services (if you know anyone with a spare £40k then please get in touch! – its worth a try isn’t it!). We will be working closely with our friends over at Manchester Rape Crisis, as the only two voluntary sector organisations in Manchester working specific with sexual abuse and rape, to see what we can do to continue to break the silence. We will also be focusing on fundraising activities and events so watch this space and if your thinking of doing something for charity this year, whether its running, jumping or baking, and you want a charity to support then please do get in touch at email@example.com.
So before Santa catches me still up and awake, I shall bid you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year. But oooh, before I sign off i would like to say a few thank you’s…
To all the staff at Zurich, you are utterly amazing and you have again made our dreams come true.
To The People’s Health Trust, we thank you for allowing us to help so many people with the creation of our guide (we cannot wait for you to see a copy).
To Lee, Craig, Jo, Paul, Evan, Kate, Lee, thank you for being the best board in the world.
and finally, to all the boys, lads and men that have contacted us for support. You continue to inspire us to carry on and we thank you for that.
So this really is me signing off for 2012.
Happy holidays to you all.