The (Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has recently provided Acts Fast with a life affirming COVID-19 Coronavirus Emergency Fund grant that has bolstered the charities ability to keep doing good. The £4.5m CAF legacy gift fund is setup to support good causes which have their roots based in helping local people – so they immediately saw the high value that Acts Fast were delivering and wanted to make a difference.
The funding is designed to help charities provided the additional support that the global pandemic is throwing up by creating a buffer to help charities such as Acts fast adapt and sustain its operations in a uniquely challenging time. CAF generously gave £6,708 to support Acts Fast’s core operations, helping keep things running as the operations become increasingly challenging.
The pandemic has put additional pressure on many of Acts Fast clients, making it harder for families to access informal support and strengthen social networks – which we all need. This has led to many feeling a greater sense of isolation and struggling to productively move forwards from a child sexual abuse disclosure. At a time like this, it can be especially hard for a protective parent or family member, because not only does a disclosure throw open the door to a whole load of questions, but the very nature of a lockdown is all about keeping people apart. The informal social support that usually happens through already established friendships is now more often hard to come by, as at present, face to face socialising is not allowed for most of the UK. The additional burden of such a sensitive, challenging, and overwhelming topic is hard enough, but when a parent is no longer able to have their weekly catch up and offload to a friend over a coffee, the feelings of isolation become all the stronger.
Acts Fast helps to meet this growing need with specialist and highly trained professionals who not only provide an understanding ear, but also are trained to help coach individuals move past the trauma and progress forwards after a child discloses sexual abuse. This is a key strategic specialism of Acts Fast, because by helping the caring parent/carer come to terms with what has happened, it is only then possible to help them be positioned for supporting their child going forwards. The protective parent is a critical piece of the framework that helps a child recover and thrive again after sexual abuse, so it makes sense to provide parents with the right sort of specialist care and therapeutic support.
The CAF funding is critical for helping the charity meet the increased demand due to the pandemic, and charity CEO Mandy Gulliver expects this will only increase as we emerge from the lockdowns:
“The pandemic has been particularly hard for many of our parents because they feel so isolated at the moment; it’s such a difficult time. When a child discloses sexual abuse the protective parent often feels like they have let them down and failed – we know just how painful that can feel – so through our specialist support we are able to get alongside them, help stablise the emotional state and explain how the traumatic event impacts the brain and how we can move forwards, together. For many of our parents, it is knowing that there are other genuine people caring about them that can really help them support their own child past such a traumatic period. We have noticed this more so during the last year where guilt and low states of mental health have been amplified by the lockdown isolation.
We would like to sincerely thank CAF for being bold and donating to what for many is often a very challenging topic, so we would like to thank them for helping make a real difference in directly supporting vulnerable people through the pandemic. Thank you CAF – you are helping us make a real difference!”
Acts Fast continues its mission to support families of sexually abused children, and are welcoming opportunities for further funding as they seek to strengthen operations to meet the increasing level of need in the Dorset area. If you would like to discuss this with them, please head to their website or contact them directly to offer your support.
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