Volunteers sought to support rape victims in Grantham
An appeal has been launched for more volunteers to help support victims of rape and sexual assault in Grantham.
Around 25 people currently give their time free to work at the town’s Trust House Lincolnshire service, which has been running for almost a year.
At least another 10 volunteers are sought because of the rising number of people who seek help or who are referred by police and mental health professionals.
Sian Reynolds, acting volunteer coordinator for the organisation, said: “We have a significant number of referrals and that is increasing constantly.
“We are victims of our own success because we now have a waiting list of people who want to use our service.
“We are incredibly thrilled with how it has gone in the first year but we desperately need more volunteers to support everyone who comes to us.”
The service was originally set up to help people across Lincolnshire but a lack of resources has led to it being focussed on Grantham people at its headquarters in St Catherine’s Road.
Staff man a helpline, as well as holding counselling sessions, and they address issues such as self-esteem, self-confidence and housing problems, as well as the psychological impact of being vicims of sexual crimes.
Ms Reynolds said: “We help people from all different walks of life, from young children, men and woman and individials aged up to their 60s.
“We are dealing with a lot more men. I’m not sure whether this means there are more male victims or whether they feel more able to report it because there is more awareness or perhaps they have seen a storyline about it on television.”
Volunteers who come forward will undergo a 14-week training programme, which can be completed over a longer period, or they can have exisitng qualifications augmented.
Current volunteers work in a variety of different fields, including the financial sector, council work and beauty therapy.
Ms Reynolds added: “This is a good time to come forward and help us as it is Volunteers’ Week in the UK.
“Working as a volunteer counsellor with us is incredibly rewarding, particularly when you see the difference in someone when they leave the service compared to what they were like when they first arrived.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for Trust House Lincolnshire is invited to call 01476 579379 for more details.