Acts Fast is a Dorset based charity providing key emotional and psychological support to the non-perpetrating family members of sexually abused children. It is a difficult and emotionally sensitive topic to discuss, but with their help hundreds of lives each year are being transformed with shorter roads to recovery. Now, thanks to financial support from the Co-op Community Fund they can keep going and maintain their services. As a UK charity currently receiving no government support, it is thanks to grants and gifts such as this that they can keep doing good.
The Co-op Community Fund is a member led and member funded special grant which supports good causes across the UK. It is a really smart way for co-op members to raise funds for chosen charities by creating a funding stream through normal shopping habits. As members buy selected co-op products, they swipe their card and activate a deal where 2p from every pound is donated straight back to community causes and 2p is given back to the member. It is a very unique and convenient way to generate loyalty to the ethos of a cooperative, whilst helping do good in the local community.
Acts Fast have been successful in partnering with a BCP co-op store to raise £5,724 to support the ongoing work of the organisation. It has come at a key time for Acts Fast because through the pandemic there has been an increased need for expanded support and over longer periods of time. Acts Fast report that because of the direct impact of the pandemic on mental health and the much-reduced access to informal social support of friends, there has been a 34% increase in the time spent supporting clients on calls. This additional time requires additional volunteers and staff to provide phone, video, and messaging support to provide families with high quality care at a time when they need it most.
It is thanks to the work of Acts Fast that families can learn about the impact of trauma on their mental health and work through some strategies on dealing with the emotions of such horrific abuse. It is by helping the caring parent come to terms with their own mental health that they can then begin to understand the psychological impact this has had on their child. Often only then is a caring parent in a position to be able to support their child through not only the initial time of crises, but in the months and years to come.
Acts Fast is changing lives by helping shorten the period of raw pain and feelings of guilt that a parent will go through, and its through funding from fantastic organisations such as the co-op that this possible.
When asked about what this funding means, Mandy Gulliver charity CEO said:
“We are so grateful to the co-op for making this grant to us, and at such a key time. As we help support more and more families through such a tough time, we also know that there is likely to be an increased need in the months to come due to the pandemic. Many family’s emotional health is currently experiencing some of the greatest pressures now due the lockdowns increasing feelings of isolation; so it is wonderful to know that this sort of funding will help keep us going. Thank you, Co-op, for making a real difference to the lives of families across Dorset.”
For more information about Acts Fast and how you can get involved and support the charity, please head to www.actsfast.org.uk for more information.