Thank you for your support!

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A huge thank you to Kirstin McCormack for doing the Speed of Light 5K run in Bournemouth on 3rd October and for raising an amazing £187 much needed funds for us to help continue our work.

Also our thanks go to the CEGA Group for choosing our charity to donate funds on their ‘dress down at work day’.

A huge thank you to them for their support choosing our charity.

Donation helps Acts Fast

L-R: Dr Andrew Mayers (psychologist at Bournemouth University and Chair of Trustees, Acts Fast), Audrey Davies (Chair of Trustees, B-CHFT), Ian Pounds (Trustee, B-CHFT) and Mandy Gulliver (Service Manager, Acts Fast)

L-R: Dr Andrew Mayers (psychologist at Bournemouth University and Chair of Trustees, Acts Fast), Audrey Davies (Chair of Trustees, B-CHFT), Ian Pounds (Trustee, B-CHFT) and Mandy Gulliver (Service Manager, Acts Fast)

A BOURNEMOUTH charity which helps victims of child sexual abuse has benefited from a £1,500 donation towards its essential support services.

Acts Fast received the funds from Bournemouth Children and Families Trust (B-CHFT) ahead of World Mental Health Day on Saturday, October 10.

Dr Andrew Mayers, a psychologist at Bournemouth University and Chair of Trustees for Acts Fast, said he was grateful for the donation. “At Acts Fast, we are concerned about how sexual abuse has a serious impact on the child’s future mental health.
“However, we cannot provide services without funding. This donation will make a huge difference to the work that we can do.”

Mandy Gulliver, service director at the charity, added the trust’s donation will help Acts Fast support non-abusive parents and carers. “Someone to talk and who will listen is vital in the recovery, not only for the parent, but for the whole family. We are grateful for B-CHFT’s generosity.”

She added: “Our aim is to ensure that the non-abusive parent or carer is freed from the guilt, shame and isolation experienced when their child discloses sexual abuse and to reduce the impact of the trauma.”

According to B-CHFT, one in four women will suffer domestic violence at some time in their lives. Audrey Davies, Chair of Trustees, said: “Perpetrators and sexual abusers come from all walks of life, and many individuals and families will be affected.

“Helping hands when you need them most is B-CHFT’s motto. We work with other local specialist organisations – like Acts Fast – to provide a haven of support, advice and guidance, to help you restore your feeling of self-worth, and your ability to take control of the situation.”

She added: “We are pleased to be able to provide a donation of £1,500 for their monthly phone line rental, to continue the valuable support, plus the monthly maintenance of their website,”

Local resident is a true inspiration – Sovereign Shopping Centre announce its first Inspire Awards winner

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Earlier this year we launched our new Inspire Awards campaign, which aims to recognise and reward inspirational, unsung heroes in the local community. Now we are delighted to announce that the winner, by public vote, is Mandy Gulliver the co-founder of Bournemouth’s ACTSFAST charity.

Mandy, who was nominated for the award by her husband, set up ACTSFAST last year to support parents and carers of abuse victims. Over the past year Mandy has worked tirelessly, giving up nearly all her spare time (up to 30 hours a week) to help people in need. As well as this she is in her third year training to be a counsellor, which in itself is extremely challenging, taking a lot of time, effort and motivation.

Peter Ruscoe, the Centre Manager of the Sovereign Shopping Centre, presented Mandy with her recognition certificate and hamper prizes which included a whole host of pampering treats and relaxation gifts from Boots.

Mandy commented:

“I am absolutely thrilled to have won. I couldn’t believe it when my husband told me he had put forward a nomination let alone to know that public voted for me to be the winner. Thank you to everyone that has supported me and the charity over the past year and a half, I cannot express my gratitude enough and I will continue to work hard for ACTSFAST and ensure there is always someone there for those in need.”

Peter added:

“At the Sovereign Shopping Centre we are incredibly proud about being part of such an incredible community in Bournemouth. We come across so many people in our day to day jobs, people who lead extraordinary lives putting others before themselves and are truly inspirational hence why we launched these awards. Congratulations to Mandy for being our first Inspire Awards winner and a heartfelt thank you for all her hard work.”

New Chair of Trustees

 

Dr Andrew Mayers PhD, MBPsS Senior Lecturer in Psychology, at Bournemouth University

We are delighted to have Andrew on board as our New Chair of Trustees

Abuse education needed to combat child sexual exploitation

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CALLS for sex education to be expanded to combat child abuse have been welcomed in Dorset.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s wants all children in England to receive age-appropriate lessons – and secondary school pupils to be taught directly about child sexual exploitation and abuse.

It comes after the charity recorded a 50 per cent rise last year in the number of sexual exploited and at-risk children it helped – up to 3,175 children across the UK in the year 2014-15.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said teaching children about healthy relationships was “key” to preventing exploitation.

He added: “It must not be allowed to drop off the agenda. The new Government in Westminster must work with local authorities, police, schools and parents across England to help keep young people safe and bring their abusers to justice.”

As well as expansion of sex and relationship education, the charity wants teachers to receive specialist training on “the nature of child sexual exploitation and abuse” so they can deliver classes effectively and confidently.

It also called for parents to be involved by schools in Sex and Relationship Education from the beginning.

Mandy Gulliver, service director at Bournemouth based Acts Fast, which supports child abuse victims and their families, said more education “suitable to the age of the child” was needed “to help them understand what a healthy relationship is, and what is appropriate from an adult.”

She added: “Teachers need to have specialist training, to spot the signs that potential child abuse is taking place, or being groomed ahead of abuse. We have to combat this problem in an holistic way, to help protect our future generations.”

Dr Andrew Mayers, senior lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University, and trustee at the charity said with expert input such conversations with children could be started earlier.

“Abuse can start at a early age – or the grooming can. If we can identify these things a lot earlier it can prevent escalating abuse”

He added: “We should also be raising awareness in schools and encouraging children and young people to speak out about anything that is bothering them or making them uncomfortable.”

Cllr Mike White, portfolio holder for children and young people, Borough of Poole, also supported Barnardo’s views, adding: “We are already, through our Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Strategy, supporting schools with staff training and working with them to develop age appropriate education for children and young people so that they can make informed decisions and know what support is available to them.”

Child Abuse – The UK’s Dark Secret Conference

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Hundreds of health visitors, counsellors, teachers, police officers, students and charity workers attended a conference at BU on preventing child abuse and recognising
grooming.

Child Abuse – The UK’s Dark Secret, invited speakers from national charities Enough Abuse and Acts Fast. The conference is the first of its kind to be hosted by a
university in the UK and highlighted the importance of tackling such a taboo subject head on.

The afternoon began with introductions from Dr Andrew Mayers, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at BU and Amanda Gulliver, from Acts Fast a charity who provide trauma
support and advice for abused children and their families.

Co-founder and CEO of Enough Abuse UK, Marilyn Hawes, gave an impassioned talk on the tell-tale signs of grooming and abuse of children. She emphasised the fact
that it’s not just the children who are groomed by the abusers but the adults who look after them too. As a mother of abused children herself, Marilyn spoke candidly about
her own experiences and how important it is to listen to your instincts when it comes to protecting children. During the talk she engaged the audience, questioning
perceptions of what abusers look and act like and what constitutes grooming.

Marilyn commented on the event, “This is innovative, it’s a first, no other university’s done it. They have a passion to do something better in the next decade than we’ve
done previously and be educating people how to look for grooming, how it makes you feel when you’re watching it.

“This is essential to be able to prevent abuse happening. No policy or process or procedure is going to stop abuse, all it does is deal with the reporting on it. We have to
do better than we’ve done and that starts with knowing about grooming.”

Andy Mayers who was one of the organisers of the conference, commented, “My professional interest focuses on the impact of abuse. Evidence, and my own
observations of working with many service users, confirms that child abuse presents a significant risk factor for serious and long term mental illness, eating disorders and
self-harm.”

He continued, “Lives are shattered by abuse, and many adults never fully recover. We need to do more to prevent abuse, but we also need to work more closely with those
who have been abused, to help deal with the consequences, and perhaps reduce the risk of developing mental health problems.”

19/03/2015

Follow these links to listen to speakers at the conference:

(Video a) ‘We all know a child being abused, a Mum speaks out at the conference’

(Video b) ‘My family was torn about by sexual abuse, campaigner tells harrowing story in bid to help other.

Josh completes the Terminator Run

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Josh Travers completed the 11 mile Terminator run on Sunday 22nd February in Pewsey, Wiltshhire in 2hours 4mins and 25secs, beating his last year and first year time by 20 mins! and came 209th out of 500 runners.
 
All money raised Josh has kindly donated to Acts Fast. Total £387 which is fantastic, a massive thank you Josh! Which will enable us to continue our crucial work to help and support parents and carers.  
 
The history of Pewsey Vale Running Club goes back to back to 1987 when a group of 7 mates were running in local running events.  Most of the group were keeping fit for squash and completed in 13 races in 1987.
 
In 1988 the group doubled in size as more people became interested in keeping fit and being active.  Some of the group competed in triathlons at Salisbury, Swanage Bay and Wroughton.   The group competed in various races and over a variety of distances and traveled further to events.  They met up regularly and then decided to form a running club.  As it was towards the end of 1988 they decided to confirm a starting date in January 1989.   The first meeting was held in Pewsey Sport Centre on 19th January 1989 and Pewsey Vale Running Club was formed.
 
Over the last 20 years, in addition to the Terminator run, the club  also have held the Bluebell Run, Great Bustard and Pewsey Vale Half Marathon events. If your interested in getting fit or taking part you can find more information by visiting www.pewseyvalerunningclub.org.

Child Abuse: The UK’s Dark Secret ..

“Listen to Marilyn Hawes, one of the UK’s leading professionals on how to prevent and manage the impact of child sexual abuse.”

Venue: Marconi Lecture Theatre
Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB

Date: Wednesday 11th March 2015

Times: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Fees: Entry to this event is FREE OF CHARGE

Click to register or for more information

Acts Fast attend ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ Conference

No Excuse For Abuse conference

*First published Saturday 6 December 2014 in Bournemouth Daily Echo by Jane Reader

MORE than 200 delegates from across Dorset attended the No Excuse For Abuse conference held at Bovington Park.

Co-hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and the Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), it attracted speakers on a range of different topics.

They included domestic abuse survivor Eve Thomas who founded the #SAFE organisation and helped to change legislation.

She said: “The conference was a rip-roaring success with so many professionals committed to fighting the war on domestic violence and abuse.”

PCC Martyn Underhill added: “This awful crime is a huge priority for my team and Dorset Police. It was humbling to see a standing ovation for Eve Thomas who was
brave enough to talk about her experiences that led her to establish the #SAFE project.”

Delegates were able to undertake workshops, expanding on the topics covered in the morning session, and also covering LGBT Domestic Abuse, and Domestic
Abuse Interven-tion Training.

Speakers covered topics including support for young witnesses of domestic abuse, working with perpetrators of abuse, raising awareness of young victims and
introducing the new Dorset Police Domestic Abuse Training DVDs.

The event was chaired by WAND patron Tracey West who said: “One of the things this conference highlighted was the complexity of how domestic abuse is handled by
the various agencies.

“I watched solutions take shape by people simply connecting and talking to each other.”

She added: “The victims of domestic abuse in Dorset will now receive better care as a result of it and I look forward to the day when the epidemic of domestic abuse is
a piece of human history.”