Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation have awarded a £2,000 grant to a local charity, Red Kite, to help them expand their resources in Letchworth and online.
Red Kite specialises in providing support to victims who have experienced rape and sexual abuse/assault and offers guidance to those who contact them. This work has been virtually based during the pandemic, but this grant facilitates extra capacity in group sessions. These sessions are vital to enabling people who have suffered from those issues to gain help and support.
Head of Charitable Projects and Partnerships, Alastair Stewart said “We awarded a grant to aid essential work such as this to help people locally who may be suffering quietly to gain help and support. We hope creating local support groups will enable easier access to help.
“In the longer term potentially through these groups new friendships and social networks will be built.”
Research has shown that in certain instances group therapy can be as beneficial as individual support as sharing struggles and experiences with those who have experienced similar issues also reduces stigma and feelings of isolation. Peer to peer groups can also create friendships between people who have the same lived experiences.
Dr Sue Rayner Jacobs, Deputy Chair & Treasurer of Red Kite Board of Trustees said: “This funding is extremely welcome and will contribute towards the costs of running Red Kite’s group counselling service. Rape and sexual abuse, stalking and internet abuse (revenge porn) have increased significantly since the easing of lockdown, the majority of which is perpetrated against women and girls in our communities. This can cause lasting trauma which can develop into other medical and psychological difficulties.
“We at Red Kite believe all victims and survivors have a right to support and have a cadre of helpline staff & therapists who are willing to listen to, support and guide them to recovery. We are particularly keen to reach victims in the Letchworth area, which records a significant number of sexual violence crimes.”
Sessions will run for around twelve weeks and are accessible by contacting Red Kite directly on 01279 790450. Red Kite are also able to make referrals to other specialist organisations where necessary.