Message to supporters from Lyn Gooding First Light Chief Executive
It has been a while since our last newsletter and so I wanted to share with you some of the things that have been happening.
Sadly, we have seen another increase in demand for our services over the past year, no doubt in part due to the impact of the pandemic on individuals and families. To help us cope with this, we have been very fortunate and grateful to receive a number of grants and donations that are being used to help support and expand our services.
We know the pandemic has resulted in financial hardship for many, which is why we are so incredibly grateful to all of our supporters who donate or volunteer for us, as without your support we would not be able to reach as many people affected by trauma as we do, so on behalf of all our staff and clients I wish to thank you for your generosity in helping us to help others lead safer lives, free from violence and abuse.
We are delighted to announce our new volunteer led Mentoring programme supporting adults affected by domestic abuse in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We have already received some wonderful feedback:
“Absolutely more than helpful especially as I was on a waiting list for counselling this was absolutely crucial being able to talk to someone now and in an honest way… not judged…like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders”. A service like this is “Literally a life saver for some.. to know you are not being neurotic or imagining things to know that the behaviour is not normal, and you don’t have to second guess yourself”. This gave me the support to know, “yes you can do it.”
To find our more about volunteering opportunities within First Light visit: https://www.firstlight.org.uk/volunteering/
Barclays Extend Helpline:
A huge THANK YOU to Barclays UK. Barclays’ £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package has extended our Helpline into the evenings and weekends. Anyone seeking advice and support for themselves or concerned about anyone else can now call:
0300 777 4777 Monday to Friday 9am – 9pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm
The increase in helpline staff has meant we have been able to answer an average of 97% of all calls made to us, ensuring we are able to provide the help, safety advice and support to callers when they most need it.
A Safer Boardmasters:
The Safer Spaces tent at Boardmasters over the festival weekend provided a safe place where festival goers could report incidents, talk about a previous experience or ask questions. Our team were on hand helping to confront and prevent sexual violence, abuse and harassment at Boardmasters.
Domestic Violence in the LGBT+ Community:
Thanks to additional funding we are recruiting for a dedicated LGBT+ Independent Domestic Violence Advisor to lead on the Safer Rainbow Project in Partnership with Intercom Trust.
Coming to an event near you:
Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th September – Plymouth University
Wednesday 22nd September – Bicton College
Thursday 23rd September – Duchy College Rosewarne
Friday 24th September – Cornwall College Newquay
Tuesday 28th September – Cornwall College St Austell
Wednesday 29th September – Cornwall College Camborne
Thursday 30th September – Duchy College Stoke Climsland
Sophie completed a staggering 480km run of the Cornish Coast Path over the summer raising vital funds for our work. Sophie’s crowdfunding page is still open if you want to congratulate her achievement… https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/conquercoastpath
Amanda and Jill are undertaking a breathtaking 25k hike across the Brecon Beacons in September to raise awareness and funds. Wish them well at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amanda-wills1 and http://www.justgiving.com/Junilda
First Light staff and their families undertaking the 5k inflatable obstacle course race in Exeter in October. Show your support by sponsoring Team First Light at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamfirstlight
Your Support, Changing Lives:
Jane* had two young children and had been in an abusive relationship for 10 years. Each time she tried to end the relationship, her partner became increasingly controlling and jealous.
“The support I received was phenomenal. It was instrumental in putting support mechanisms in place to ensure that I was safe and they also guided me through the minefield of steps/ processes that I needed to go through in order to do this longer term. Having someone on my side and emotionally supportive was so important to keep me going when things were really tough.”
Jane’s former partner is now addressing his behaviour as part of a community order. Jane hopes that in time, he will accept responsibility for his actions and build a meaningful relationship with his children.
*name changed to protect the identity of the family
At First Light we know there is much more we can do to support people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence across the South West. For inspiration on how you too can get involved and help change lives download our 100 Ways To Fundraise or get in touch with Cath at [email protected]