Sexual abuse support service seeks volunteers

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A SUPPORT service for victims of sexual abuse is seeking more volunteers.

Grace Northumberland Sexual Violence Project is appealing for women to help run its valuable helpline.

The service, which is run in conjunction with Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre, operates from Morpeth every Wednesday, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

Volunteers do not need to have any experience of offering helpline support or dealing with issues of rape or sexual violence, but they must be able to provide three hours of help once a fortnight, be able to listen and not judge the women who call.

An extensive training programme is provided and covers how to handle disclosures of sexual violence, myths around the issue, the impact it has on women, particular problems faced by black and minority ethnic women in relation to forced marriage and honour-based violence, and issues faced by sex workers.

Training in counselling skills is also offered and volunteers will observe other helpers at work before having a go themselves. Ongoing support and supervision is also provided.

The work could be of particular interest to trainee counsellors as they can put their skills into practice, gain experience and increase their knowledge, but anyone can apply.

The project is planning to run a training programme in January so recruits are urged to apply now.

For more information contact Northumberland Development Worker Andrea Perrett on 0191 222 0272, or email aperrett@tynesidercc.org.uk