Service Director Blog: September 2012

14.10.12 | Blog

Duncan Craig - Survivors ManchesterSo where does time go? What happened to Summer? To begin with I’d like to apologise for my accidental August blog absence, time literally seems to have dissapeared. But we certainly havent been sat around on our laurels, far from it.
Whenever people ask me “How’s Survivor’s going?” and my reply is something like “it’s going well thanks, we’re really busy with projects and support”, there is often a pause in conversation where the person asking me the question is wondering what their next response is. I sometimes wonder if this is linked to the social silence of sexual abuse, especially when the topic is males as victims. But the truth is that we have been really busy, continuing to provide services to the guys already engaged in our organisation and responding to the 20 new requests we have recieved in just under two months!
A lot of the summertime has been spent planning and researching and working on our exciting new project, The Survivors Manchester Guide, funded by Health Form from The People’s Health Trust. Since we started, we’ve had 18 lads involved and have a fantastic core ‘editorial team’ that meet regularly to discuss and create the guide’s content. Without spoiling the surpise of the finished product, all i’m going to say now is that some people have really found their voice and their inner artist (yes, I have needed to dry my eyes on a number of occasions when i’m sat listening to the incredible words that these guys have created). We’re due to publish in January 2013 so watch this space! To keep up to date and find out more information please take a look at the Survivors Guide project page on our website by clicking here.
I’ve also been working hard behind the scenes, in my role of Service Director, on the development of the organisation and have been lucky enough to get support from two fantastic people, Sue Hennessey and Matt Hartigan.
Funded by Manchester Community Central, Sue has been charged with the task of supporting us in developing a funding strategy/plan and the creating a simple case for support. I cannot sing Sue’s praises enough, not only because (like me) she seems to work at ridiculousness-o-clock and therefore I get responses to questions quickly, but because she knows exactly how to deliver constructive criticism without it ever hurting. I guess its because I 100% know that she cares and wants us to reach our potential.
As part of Survivors Manchester’s Community Partnership Award from Zurich Community Trust, Matt offered his support as my business mentor and has fast become an important part of my development as Service Director. Matt, Head of Broker Market (Northwest) Zurich UK, finds time in his busy schedule to meet with me every month and allows me to talk about the organisation, our struggles and our achievements, and i get a great cup of coffee (thanks to Matt’s PA, Lisa – I wont give him the credit for that Lisa, dont you worry). Matt’s business brain means that he see’s opportunities I don’t and his enthusiasm for our work gives me the confidence to make business decisions.
I’d like to publically thank Sue and Matt, not just for the practical support, but for genuinely believing in me and in Survivors Manchester. Thanks.
Belief in self is something I think the majority of survivors struggle with, I know I do, but with plenty of practice and some encouragement from others its a battle worth winning.
Well thats me for now, so until October, stay safe and remember that when we break the silence, it stops with us!
Duncan Craig
Service Director

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