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Charity supporting child victims of sexual abuse receives vital cash boost

A charity which helps support child victims of sexual abuse and their families has received a funding boost from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN) – during its 10th anniversary year. 

The OPCCN awarded Brave Futures (formerly known as Fresh Start New Beginnings) more than £50,000 in 2022 to fund child support workers and specialist services for the year. 

This year sees Brave Futures marking its 10th anniversary – a decade of providing specialist support services to young people who have experienced trauma as a result of sexual abuse.  

And the extra grant of £20,000 secured by the OPCCN from Ministry of Justice funding, will enable the charity to address its waiting list and help even more children and their families. 

The news comes during national No MORE Week which runs from the 5 to 12 March 2023 and aims to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence, inspiring individuals, organisations, and communities to make change. 

Patsy Johnson-Cisse, Managing Director of Brave Futures, said: “We are delighted to receive additional funding to help support our work with children and young people within Norfolk. One in ten children are sexually abused.   

"With approximately 180,000 under 18's in Norfolk that is a lot of children living in our area who could potentially need our support.   

"A big thank you to the OPCCN for the additional funding which will help us work with more of the children on our waiting list."   

The investment helps reinforce Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie’s commitment to supporting victims in the county – a priority in his Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan. 

“I am delighted to be able to offer this extra funding for Brave Futures” said Giles Orpen-Smellie. 

“The work the charity does for children, young people and their families in Norfolk is absolutely crucial. 

“When a young person shows the bravery to take that first vital step and talk about what has happened to them it is key, they have access to the right specialist support at the right time to help them feel safe and secure.” 

Brave Futures was set up to provide a therapeutic service for children and young people who have reported being sexually abused and to offer support for their families. 

Their aim is to provide a safe place for children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse to gain support. 

Their vision is for all children and young people who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse/exploitation, to have the opportunity to access support. For them to feel safe, listened to and supported. 

Brave Futures works with professionals within the industry to manage and support those that have been referred to the service by a professional. The length of support provided to each young person is decided on a case-by-case basis. 

Where appropriate, support is also provided to a young person’s family to help promote family health and communication. 

Formerly known as Fresh Start New Beginnings the charity has undergone a rebrand to mark its 10th anniversary year. 

Visit Brave Futures website 

How to seek help 

Your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) works with a number of organisations across the county to ensure specialist support is available for those affected by domestic and sexual abuse. 

If you know someone who is the victim of domestic or sexual abuse, we encourage you to seek help. 

The police will always respond to emergency calls - if you are in immediate danger, always call 999. Police 101 is the non-emergency number. 

More information on specialist support services can be found on our website here >>