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Mayor to be Patron

Published on Tuesday, 20th February 2018 in Support groups news

The Mayor of Rotherham is to become Patron of an organisation which provides a lifeline to hundreds of abuse survivors in Rotherham.

Cllr Eve Rose Keenan has agreed to be Patron of Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service (Rothacs), a registered charity which offers free specialist one-to-one therapeutic counselling to survivors of abuse including domestic and child sexual exploitation.

The Mayor, who has revealed she was herself a victim of child sexual exploitation many years ago, has also pledged to take their fight for more funding to Parliament.

She said: “I am keen to do this because as a survivor of child sexual exploitation, counselling was key for me to recover, and not just survive but thrive. It is vital that there is good quality, free and accessible counselling available. I want to help the organisation take their fight for funding to Parliament.”

Rothacs chairman, Nick Arkle, said: “We had the pleasure of meeting with the Mayor at the end of 2017 when she spoke at our Celebration event. We invited her to be a Patron and are delighted that she has accepted the role.  We look forward to working together in a creative and proactive manner to maintain the services we offer.”

Rothacs Chief Executive Natalie Thompson said: “We are delighted that Cllr Keenan has chosen to support our charity.  Demand for our service is increasing year on year, however funding has remained static and is set to decline.  The support we provide to victims and survivors of abuse is life-changing – it is essential that this service continues.”

In 2017 the service delivered 2,811 counselling sessions, with referrals up by 14%.

Cllr Keenan will be joint Patron with Rotherham MP, Sarah Champion.

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