MLSS: Supporting those in need
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We don't know exactly how many children in the UK experience sexual abuse. However, research with 2,275 young people aged 11-17 about their experiences of sexual abuse suggests around 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused (1).
Emerge is a non-profitable registered charity that provides support to both male and female adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, as well as offering support to their non-offending partners and family members. Established in 1993, Emerge offers telephone support as well as face-to-face and drop-in support, and individuals can book their own appointments when they feel both ready and necessary with no end date or cap to their visits.
Experiencing childhood sexual abuse can have significant, long-lasting effects that carry on into adulthood. Many feel as though they are unable to reach out for help or support as they get older, this is where Emerge and its team of volunteers, such as Abby, come in.
Abby Morris, Commercial Resourcer at PSR Solutions, volunteered with Emerge in October 2022 alongside studying for her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. Abby wanted to use her spare time to help others, and found Emerge to be the perfect charity to fit around her current schedule whilst being able to impact and help others that may need it. Abby also felt that she wanted to use her spare time to positively impact others through volunteering because charities can struggle to find volunteers. She initially completed six weeks of training and now volunteers at least two hours per week, helping those who are going through one of the hardest times in their lives.
The need for such a service as Emerge was recognised by Chris Holley, a Community Psychiatric Nurse who later became a Consultant Nurse specialising in Sexual Abuse. Emerge was originally established by Chris in 1993 as a charity with all support workers operating on a voluntary basis. Fast forward 30 years and the charity is now well established within the Stafford area, running out of St George’s Hospital and with a group of dedicated volunteers behind them.
So, why Emerge? Abby specifically quotes the values of the charity and what they stand for as some of the main reasons for working with Emerge. She also understood that adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse don't always get the support they need or even feel that they can reach out for the necessary support.
On a personal level, Emerge has helped Abby to grow as a person, understand how to speak to people in that situation and also understand the benefit that volunteering can have to those who need it.
Would you recommend volunteering to others?
“1000000%, you only have to dedicate a small amount of your time each week and you get to feel like you’ve made someone else’s life a little bit easier. I would definitely recommend volunteering for a local charity as they are always looking for some support and are often overlooked.”
How do you donate?
As a non-profit organisation, Emerge relies on donations in order to continue the vital support that they provide to survivors. A great way to donate is to use the ‘Easy Fundraising’ website, where you shop as normal online and the company you are purchasing from donates a small sum of money to Emerge. This means you can give something to Emerge, without it costing you anything extra. To do this, simply click this link.
How do you volunteer?
Equally, volunteers are always needed to help provide support and be there to help those in need. Feel free to get in touch with the Emerge team on 01785 225991 or keep an eye out on platforms like Indeed for any adverts!