Three Girls: It may be closer to home than you think

Press Release: For Immediate Release

As BBC One shows the true-life drama “Three Girls” you might be thinking that this harrowing story of child sexual abuse was unique and isolated. Sadly, children are still being abused, and groomed for abuse, all across the UK. Locally, Acts Fast, a Bournemouth-based charity, provides support across Dorset to non-abusive families, parents, carers and children who have been affected by sexual abuse.

As the story unfolds on TV, Acts Fast is likely to receive calls from people looking for support, or perhaps wishing to disclose that they have been abused, or know someone who has. This distressing account is likely to draw on memories that might have been suppressed because it has been too painful to talk about.

Mandy Gulliver, Acts Fast CEO said “The bravery to speak out about your own child abuse must be commended. The strength it takes to come forward, to tell someone, must not be underestimated, not only to the brave individuals of Rotherham but to all the other individuals out there who have done so, and to those that are still suffering either at the hands of their abuser or silenced through fear.”

“Highlighting how truly rife child abuse is in this country must always be kept in the forefront of people’s minds, to reach as many people suffering as we can. The physiological scars that are left following abuse can lead to a debilitating way of life, clouded in shame and guilt. I can’t stress enough the support and understanding individuals and families need when faced with this devastating life-changing reality”

Dr Andrew Mayers, Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, is Chair of Trustees at Acts Fast. He said “As a psychologist specialising in mental health, I am acutely aware of the impact that sexual abuse in childhood has on a lifetime of mental health problems. Many adults with acute mental health difficulties have experienced childhood abuse. One of my roles at Acts Fast is too look at how we can help victims, and their families, survive the mental health fallout.”

“However, we cannot do this work without support. We need funding to help us provide that support. We are also always keen to talk to volunteers and potential trustees to help us carry out that work. If you feel you can help us, we would like to hear from you.”

For more information on Acts Fast, please call 01202 797 217 or visit Donations, to support the work at Acts Fast can be made at

Robert Montagu becomes Patron for Acts Fast.


Robert Montagu becomes Patron for Acts Fast.

Acts Fast, a Bournemouth-based charity providing support for victims of child sexual abuse, and their (non-abusive) family, is proud to announce a new Patron. Robert Montagu is a highly respected psychotherapist, based near Weymouth.

Having been an importer of wines, pottery and ceramics for 25 years, Robert retrained as a psychotherapist (aged 50). He worked in Child and Adolescent mental health for the NHS before going private in 2007. He started the Family Counselling Trust to help families on low income in the south west, so that they could have access to high quality counselling for a range of emotional issues, at a cost they could afford. In 2014, Robert published a book ‘A Humour of Love’ drew on his experience of being sexually abused as a child. In that book, he revealed a sexual relationship that he had with his father, starting from the age of seven. It was that experience that has shaped much of his professional work, and his desire to be associated with Acts Fast. Since the publication of the book, Robert has combined working as a psychotherapist with families, extending the work of the Trust, and campaigning for the introduction of mandatory reporting of sex crimes against children nationwide.

Robert Montagu said “I hope that small charities such as Acts Fast that help promote such reporting in communities like Bournemouth continue to spread throughout the UK and will bring pressure on Government to act fast and reform the law”.

Mandy Gulliver, Acts Fast founder and CEO, said “We are extremely proud to announce and fortunate that Robert Montagu has agreed to be another Patron for Acts Fast, supporting the crucial work we do”

Dr Andrew Mayers, a psychologist at Bournemouth University and Chair of Trustees for Acts Fast, said “It is a great honour for Acts Fast to have a Patron with such standing as Robert Montagu. It is commendable that he has chosen to use the terrible experience he encountered as a child to make a difference for future generations“.

Generous Donation

“We are extremely grateful to have received a very generous donation, arising from Reachout’s closure. This will ensure, that we can continue our vital work in supporting families, who have been affected by chid sexual abuse”

Sexual Abuse & Mental Health Conference

Sexual Abuse and Mental Health Sept 2016

Sexual Abuse & Mental Health
Reducing the Impact of Abuse on Mental Health
Tuesday 20th September 2016, London

This CPD certified national conference focuses on the important issue of sexual abuse and mental health. Through national updates, survivor perspectives, expert sessions and case study presentations the conference will provide delegates with practical guidance for reducing the impact of abuse on mental health and supporting victims, families and carers.

For further information and to book your place visit

Follow the conference on Twitter @HCUK_Clare #sexualabuse
A 20% discount is available by quoting hcuk20af when booking.

Mental Health Week May 16th

ActsFast MHAW16Dorset

We had the pleasure of being part of Mental Health Week in conjunction with South West trains on Monday 16th May, at Bournemouth train station, which was a phenomenal success in raising awareness, with in excess of 8 million twitter impressions for #MHAW16Dorset.

Other organisations that attended included:



Great to see such a turnout from all different organisations. For more information click here to follow the link to the Bournemouth Echo article.




A highly successful event at St Aldhem’s Academy earlier in March, saw local singer-songwriter Stacey Leighann perform her new single ‘House of Cards’ as part of a series of talks and musical acts, raising awareness about child sexual abuse and mental health. Supported by Amelia McCloskey, manager of AM Studios in Longham, the event raised £450 for two Dorset charities, Acts Fast and Dorset Mind. Acts Fast are a Bournemouth-based charity supporting the non-abusive surviving family of child sexual abuse victims. Dorset Mind support clients with mental health difficulties across Dorset. – See more at:……..

Words from Chair of Trustees


Dr Andrew Mayers
Psychologist at Bournemouth University and mental health campaigner and educator

“I am proud to be Chair of Trustees for such an important charity. In my work, a significant proportion of the adults that I meet with acute mental health problems have a history of being sexually abused as a child. We know that child abuse is strong predictor of mental illness in adulthood. I see my role as helping reduce the impact of abuse on later mental health problems, and guide the charity on governance. Acts Fast provide support to non-offending parents, carers and family (and the chid) where there has been sexual abuse. All too often following an investigation into child sexual abuse, when the Police, social services, and child psychology teams have withdrawn, there is no one left yet to support the family. Yet, this is the time they need most support, not least coming to terms with the impact of the abuse. Acts Fast fill that gap. I am feel privileged to lead the Act Fast trustees as we look to build on the great work done so far.

On behalf on Acts Fast, I would also like to thank Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, as he steps down as Patron. His support and sponsorship has helped the charity though the early stages of our work. His guidance and influence has enabled us to really start making a difference across Dorset.”

Mandy Gulliver, Service Director & Co-founder, “I would like to thank Martyn Underhill, for his support, guidance and influence.  It has been a privilege to have had Martyn as our Patron”


Martyn Underhill
Dorset Police & Crimes Commissioner

“I am honoured to have been asked to be patron to this new and exciting charity. Child sexual abuse is a horrendous, hidden crime, which often involves the most awful of acts – the breach of parental trust. Child abuse doesn’t just damage the child involved horribly it implodes inside a family like a grenade, often destroying siblings and non-offending adults alike. In just minutes, a family can lose family stability, as well as the main wage earner, a parent, a partner. Acts Fast strives to provide support to the most needy of people – the non-offending parent or carer who is struggling to come to terms with the most heinous of crimes, as well as trying to support the child victim, and deal with the breakdown of a relationship and, often, huge financial instability.

Acts Fast is a step change in supporting non-offending parents, carers and family members involved in child abuse cases in Dorset. I welcome the team, I embrace the team and I wish them well on their journey.

Singers new single raises child sexual abuse.



Dorset Mind, Acts Fast, and AM Studios
February 22nd 2016

For immediate release



For decades, even talking about child sexual abuse has been a taboo topic. It is now becoming more acceptable to speak openly, perhaps a reflection of the need to do so in light of high profile public cases. There have been a number of media stories recently, where people have shared their stories in the hope that other will do so too. Now, rising Dorset star and talented singer-songwriter Stacey Leighann has taken a novel approach to raising awareness. Her new single ‘House of Cards’ draws on her own experience of being sexually abused as a child. Stacey is managed by Dorset agent and producer Amelia McCloskey, who runs AM Studios in Bournemouth. The video can be viewed at

To mark the launch of the new single and video, Stacey and AM Studios are working with local charities Dorset Mind and Acts Fast to produce a highly innovative event of song and talk. Stacey said “The reason I am doing this event is to raise awareness about the daily burden of living with mental health problems, especially those struggling with the effects of being abused as a child. Survivors are not alone and shouldn’t be ashamed of who they are. We are called survivors so that we can thrive and be ourselves”.

The event takes place at St Aldhelm’s Academy, Poole, on March 12th, 11.00-15.00. The ticket price of £12 includes a three-course gourmet meal. All ticket proceeds will be donated equally to Dorset Mind and Acts Fast. In addition to Stacey singing her new single, there will be further music from local artistes Calvin Glenn, Lee Rassle Dove, and Tanya Miller. The impact of child sexual abuse will be reinforced through talks from people sharing their own experiences. Speakers include Paul Scates (senior peer specialist in mental health, child sexual abuse campaigner, and Acts Fast trustee), Sue Crocombe (Acts Fast volunteer and child sexual abuse campaigner) Gerry Jones, Clinical Lead at Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre, and Stacey’s manager Amelia McCloskey.

The event will be presented by Dr Andrew Mayers, a psychologist at Bournemouth University who specialises in mental health. Dr Mayers also has close connections with both charities, being Patron for Dorset Mind (the local mental health charity) and Chair of Trustees for Acts Fast (the Bournemouth-based charity supporting the victims and non- abusive families of children who have been sexually abused). Dr Mayers said “The link between child sexual abuse and mental problems is clear. A significant proportion of adults with acute mental illness were sexually abused as a child. We also know that around 75% children who are sexually abused go on to experience a lifetime of mental health difficulties. We must all do all we can to eradicate child abuse. I am also determined to help reduce the inevitability of mental illness following abuse. I am honoured to be involved in this unique event, to raise awareness about the impact of child sexual abuse, and to raise funds for two charities that are taking great strides to tackle this problem”.

Anna Windett, a trustee at Dorset Mind said “Dorset Mind is proud to be supporting this event and the important issues Stacey is raising. We are passionate about supporting those with mental health issues across Dorset and campaigning on mental health issues.”

Mandy Gulliver, Director of Services at Acts Fast said “I would like to raise awareness of how much child sexual abuse impacts on the non-abusive parent/parents or carers of the child who discloses they have been abused. We need to say that it is OK for those carers to reach out for support, as they are affected too. We liken the disclosure as a bit like a bomb going off. The shrapnel hits everyone around, including other siblings, and extended family. In many cases also, it can be a trigger of their own experience of childhood sexual abuse, for which they may not have had support. This can have an impact on their own mental health.”

Tickets can be obtained via Please note that attendees must be over 16 years of age. Qualified counsellors will be in hand throughout the event to give support if needed.


For an interview with Stacey, please contact her manager Amelia McCloskey on 07949 624690

For an interview relating to the work of Dorset Mind or Acts Fast, or about matters relating to mental health and child sexual abuse, contact Dr Andy Mayers on 07749 201980

Web and contact details:

Dorset Mind
Tel. 01202 551660, email, web

Acts Fast
Tel: 07468 694068, email, web

AM Studios
Tel: 07949 624690, email, web

Dr Andrew Mayers
Tel: 07749 201980, email, web