TikTok influencer and former gang member on surviving child sex abuse

Lennox Rodgers and Fahema Bassett are two of the speakers at the afternoon tea event by Fresh Starts new beginnings

Lennox Rodgers and Fahema Bassett are two of the speakers at the afternoon tea event by Fresh Starts new beginnings this summer - Credit: Fresh Starts new beginnings

Three survivors of child sexual abuse, a TikTok influencer, a former gang member and an activist forced into prostitution aged 15, are revealing their experiences to "incite change" in Suffolk.

Fresh Starts new beginnings provides the only therapeutic service for children and young people in Suffolk who have been victims of sexual abuse and demand for its services soared over the past year. 

To connect with victims and their families, the charity is hosting an afternoon tea event in Ipswich on Friday, July 9, where three speakers will be discussing their histories of child sexual abuse.

Lennox Rodgers is a former gang member and drug dealer involved in more than 20 armed robberies who turned his life around and formed the charity Refocus, sharing his story of abuse and crime in efforts to support future generations.

Fahema Bassett is an emerging TikTok influencer who shares her story of being subjected to both physical and sexual abuse from a young age — she now has almost 60,000 followers on the platform.

Activist Fiona Broadfoot was forced into prostitution aged 15 and has founded the ‘Build a Girl UK’ project — a survivor-led social enterprise working with young women at risk of, or experiencing, sexual exploitation.

Activist Fiona Broadfoot was forced into prostitution at the age of just 15 

Activist Fiona Broadfoot was forced into prostitution at the age of just 15 - Credit: Fiona Broadfoot

Offering therapeutic and support services for children up to the age of 18 and their families, the charity has seen its waiting list rocket from 50 to 130 in Norfolk and Suffolk since the beginning of lockdown.  

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Patsy Johnson, managing director of Fresh Starts new beginnings, said: “We hope this event will provide fascinating and moving insight into the impacts of abuse, by survivors who have gone on to help countless other young people.

"These adults are the voices of children all over the country who don’t feel safe in speaking out.  

“We can’t disclose information about our children or share their stories, but we can hear from adults who have been victims of sexual abuse, so we can incite change and keep our young people safe. 

“Our three presenters are incredible people with a deep desire to make a change and help others with shared experiences."

Tickets for the afternoon tea at Venue16 are available at a cost of £30 per person or £300 for a table of 10 and can be booked by emailing: hannah@fsnb.org.uk

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