Wall of Silence Exhibition

From July 11th, Bournemouth University and Acts Fast will be presenting Southmead Project’s ‘Wall of Silence’, a display of images and stories that share the experience and impact of child abuse. The exhibition has already been shown across other towns and cities, including Bristol and Northampton (see http://southmeadproject.org.uk/wall-of-silence/). The exhibition will be accompanied by a conference.

Child abuse leaves a trail of destruction that pervades entire families, the impact of which lasts a lifetime. Yet, victims and survivors find it hard to talk for fear of judgement and disbelief. This powerful exhibition will teach us how we can encourage victims and survivors that it’s OK to talk, and explore how we can help support victims and survivors.

The conference, takes place on Tuesday July 11th, 9.30-16.30 at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus (Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB). The Wall of Silence will be available to view by the public, 11th and 12th July 10.00 until 20.00.

Among the speakers, will be Mike Peirce, MBE (CEO, Southmead Project, the creator of the Wall of Silence) and Martyn Underhill (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner). Other speakers will include survivors, parents, and support groups.


Download Wall of Silence flyer

Conference Poster

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 www.actsfast.org.uk. Donations, to support the work at Acts Fast can be made at http://www.actsfast.org.uk/donate/

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 http://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/sexual-abuse-mental-health

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: http://www.dorseteye.com/east/articles/child-sexual-abuse-awareness-event-raises-450-for-dorset-charities……..

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.