Huge boost for charity as funding helps provide support for dozens more children

Suffolk charity Fresh Start new beginnings

Suffolk charity, Fresh Start new beginnings has received £280,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund - Credit: Caroline Horne Photography

A Suffolk child sex abuse charity has set out plans for delivering an enhanced service following a major funding boost of £280,000.

The National Lottery Community Fund cash will be used over the course of three years by Fresh Start new beginnings (FSNB) to provide therapeutic services to another 40 local children and young people. 

The charity currently supports about 200 children across Norfolk and Suffolk per year – with an average of 50 on the waiting list for its services, which have been shown to reduce the harmful impacts of trauma and help achieve a happier future.

To help bolster service provision, three new support workers recently joined the team, along with six new trustees, including Dr Evril Silver, experienced social worker and child protection expert Keri Symonds, communications manager Kesha Allen, finance expert Emma Clifton and former events director Mick Parker.

Managing director Patsy Johnson-Cisse said the Covid-19 pandemic created a range of challenges, including the cancellation of important fundraising events and activities, and some children being kept hidden from professionals adept at spotting signs and reporting concerns.

But, she added, it had also allowed the charity to reset, evaluate demand and plan enhanced support – made possible by the lottery funding, which she said would have an "incredible impact". 

Meanwhile, a recent gala ball at Maison Talbooth, in Dedham, was attended by 160 supporters and raised another £30,000 in funding. 

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Auctioneer Jonathan Benson, from Reeman Dansie, helped raise almost £13,000 on the live auction, which included a holiday in Dubai and a red telephone box.  

Guests also heard from FSNB ambassador Minnie Moll about her personal journey and the importance of early intervention. 

Funds raised from the ball will enable the charity to support an additional 12 young people.

Charity trustee Anita Huckle, who helped organise the event with Bev Hudson, Natalie Perillo and Michelle Ward, with many helpers on the night, said: “To know that it has raised such a huge amount for Fresh Start new beginnings, which delivers such crucial services to young people in our region, is amazing."

Mrs Johnson-Cisse added: "It’s hard to convey just what a difference this money will make to our charity. 

"Twelve more children can be helped with this funding, and the impact our services will have on each of them is simply life changing."

Further information on the charity can be found at fsnb.org.uk.

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