Michael Tomlinson MP and PCC candidate David Sidwick visit BCP charity to discover more about the hidden world of child sexual abuse and its family impact.

Acts Fast were delighted to have received a very welcomed visit from David Sidwick (PCC candidate for Dorset) and Michael Tomlinson (MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole) back in October 2020 to highlight the charities services to members of the community.

Mandy Gulliver (Acts Fast CEO) thoroughly welcomed sharing the charities passion and vision to help support families suffering with the impacts of child sexual abuse. She spoke with both David and Michael about how the charity exists solely on the support of generous benefactors and how her and the team were so grateful for the support they receive.

Michael and David joined teams for the socially distanced visit, so that they could discover more about what is a rarely discussed topic in most of our society. They learnt about the charities mission to not only support families impacted by this horrific crime, but how they also work with government and other charitable organisations to help bring about much needed change in the legal and family court proceedings.

During 2020 Acts Fast has continued to support hundreds of families in the Dorset area and saw the charity provided further support to approximately 75 new referrals who were now living with the impacts of child sexual abuse in their family. Acts Fast works closely with some local policing departments who refer families to them, as well as if they encounter a family who has been impacted by the devastating influences of such child abuse.

Mandy Gulliver shared a little about the visit:

“It isn’t an easy topic to think about, and of course it’s easier to brush it under the rug, but unless families are given really good quality support, the chances are that their mental health and wellbeing will take a significant nose-dive. We know that when families are just left on their own to deal with the knowledge that one of their children has been sexually abused, it is like the whole world is pulled out from under them. Then, because of the very sensitive and horrific nature of the crime, nobody wants to openly talk about it. There is a real shame and guilt factor that the non-abusive family members often experience because they feel they should have known what was happening and done something to stop it. The feelings of guilt are simply horrifically overwhelming, and this understandably has a life changing impact on a person’s mental health.

We exist to provide the right sort of support at the right time, from being a very understanding ear listening in times of need, to providing trauma support and therapeutic counselling. We have a small but wonderful team of qualified volunteers and staff who provide this support, and it has been great to share about our vision with David and Michael today. We know it is through working with police and community leaders that as a society, we can provide better support and structure to help those who are affected by this issue.”

David shared of his visit:

“Absolute pleasure to have been able to meet with Acts Fast and Michael Tomlinson MP.

Acts Fast and Mandy Gulliver I have met before and been impressed by the work that they do and their need is for greater visibility – they are there, they care and want to help. Michael and I discussed ways that we could help with that noise. This charity reaches across all of Dorset and could help many more families.”

Mandy and the Acts Fast team continue to support families in need when a child’s sexual abuse is disclosed, so that ultimately the trajectory of future generations will be changed by breaking the cycles of abuse. Acts Fast is free at the point of access, so that those who need the support can get it, no matter what. This excellent service is not free to run however, so Acts Fast rely on gifts and donations every year to make their support possible. If you would like to provide your own support or perhaps are a business looking to get involved, please contact Mandy and the team today to discuss the next steps.

Contact Acts Fast:

Tel: 01202 797217

E-mail: support@actsfast.org.uk

Website: www.actsfast.org.uk

UK registered charity: 1157675

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