A STRETCHED charity supporting survivors of sexual abuse has taken on a new premises after demand for their service rocketed.
Warwick-based Safeline currently operates from a base in New Street, but now they have also taken on a building just around the corner on Market Place.
The expansion was prompted by a huge rise in the number of people needing the charity’s counselling support, which has seen a 35 per cent annual increase, with 600 new clients coming forward last year alone.
Chief executive Neil Henderson believes high profile child sex abuse cases have led to the increase.
He told the Observer: ‘Safeline has had to lease new premises because the demand from survivors for counselling support has grown significantly over the last 12 months.
“This increase has been driven by what seems like the daily, high profile child sex abuse cases which appear in the media and on television and which is triggering emotions in survivors that prompts them to seek help.
“The football abuse story for example, led to a huge increase in the demand for our services because people felt that if footballers could be believed, they might too.
“The impact of sexual abuse is devastating and long-lasting and survivors need access to specialist support so they can cope and recover with their abuse.”
But to bring the building – a former therapy centre – up to scratch it needs a complete renovation. When it is completed the new Safeline premises will have three counselling rooms, a reception area, kitchen and WC.
To help fund the work, Mr Henderson is calling on residents donate towards their £2,000 target.
He said: “We aim to start using the premises this summer but first need to equip and furnish them appropriately.
“We are consulting Safeline clients about suitable ‘themes’ for the rooms as we start to redecorate. Having the right environment enhances the counselling experience for clients.”
The charity say £18 would pay for an emergency mobile phone as there is no landline.
And £250 could pay to fit lamps and lampshades in all rooms.
Anyone who donates more than £25 will be invited to the building’s launch party.
Search for ‘Safeline’ at mydonate.bt.com to donate or find out more.