Dorset Community Fund (DCF) has generously donated a £2,000 grant to Acts Fast to enable operational adaptations to help meet the increased demand that the charity has experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acts Fast are a specialised care charity that provides professional therapeutic support to families who have experienced the significant trauma of a family member experiencing child sexual abuse. The trauma can have a damaging and multiplying effect as not only does the child experience the horrific consequence of the abuse, but the protective family around that child are impacted by the shockwaves when they find out.
Often feelings of guilt, significant emotional trauma and the pain of such betrayal can cause a spiral of emotions to be felt, which for many is understandably so overwhelming. Acts Fast have existed in Dorset for about 7 years now, to help re-address the lack of support provided in both the initial crises and the stabilising, healing and moving forwards after a disclosure. It is through the support of Acts Fast that hundreds of Dorset residents have been able to come to terms with the impact of child abuse on their family and are now finding ways to effectively move forwards.
Other charities such as Parents Protect provide fantastic advocacy and resources to help when approaching this difficult topic, helpfully explained in their video here. Acts Fast is different because it provides the specialist post disclosure family support that others simply don’t or can’t yet provide.
Often in situations where child abuse has occurred, the protective parent is left with feelings of failure and guilt for not being aware that the abuse was going on. This has a significant impact on a caring parents mental health because everything in their world has suddenly taken a catastrophic turn. Acts Fast support the parent so that they can be a in a strong enough place to help provide wrap around care for their child, who is likely to need extra support for years to come. By helping the protective parent and family members, Acts Fats can help provide that consistent care indirectly to the affected child(ren).
This is an important and distinctive element in the charity’s strategy because although of course the child needs specialist direct care and support, the parents and families around that child are often left not knowing which way to turn. Acts Fast are then able to help hold and support the family by providing a whole range of specialist care, from emotional health tools, to explaining trauma models which helps to demonstrate the impact such trauma has on the mind and body. By providing this sort of care and specialist resources, families are better equipped for supporting their child both immediately and into the future.
The Dorset Community Foundation has given a really welcomed boost to the charity by helping strengthen its resources at a time when it is experiencing unparalleled demand in Dorset. Mandy Gulliver CEO of the charity wanted to share:
“It has been such a unique time for peoples mental health over the last year or so, and we have directly seen this in the demand for our support services. We have seen a 50% increase in the frequency of client support and the time we spend supporting each person has increased on average by 35 minutes. The necessity and intensity of demand has been like nothing we have seen before, and we want to be there to support every single family who needs our help.
This much needed additional care does mean however that our operational resources have been stretched further, but thanks to the support from DCF (and others of course) we have been able to help families through such a difficult time. As a charity we rely solely on the generous gifts of organisations such as the DCF, so we really do thank them for their help – they are truly helping support families here in Dorset.”
Acts Fast continue to search for and welcome further support as demand for their services is increasing through this pandemic. For more information about the work and support of Acts Fast, please visit their website or get in contact below.
Tel: 01202 797217