This is a guest post by Ayath Ullah who is the Chief Operating Officer at Model Westminster. Ayath has been a huge help to me with a number of my own projects.
Recently I met an amazing young lady who inspired me enough that I wanted to help her set up her own charity; however I’m no charities expert and I’d like some support from others.
Siobhan Pyburn is hoping to set up a residential safe space for 16-17 year olds in London. The space will specifically be for young people who are being sexually abused at home and need to be removed from the situation at once. Services offered will include:
– Temporary housing in private rooms, with a communal kitchen and living area, and 24/7 security. Residence will last for as long as it takes for the young persons to be allocated a sustainable, permanent home under normal social services provisions.
– Access to free 1-to-1 therapy services, either provided at the house by outsourced therapists or in their own offices nearby.
– A weekly survivor-led support group led by volunteers.
– Assignment with a mentor who will provide support through the legal process once the abuse is disclosed (the service will include a mandatory reporting policy where the victim must report their abuse to the police once their stay is confirmed; this is to dissuade people who have not been abused from abusing the service, and encourage closure from the experience), hopefully provided by another charity such as Victim Support.
– Possible ‘life skills’ teaching, such as how to prepare food and live independently.
– In addition to services for residents who are the most vulnerable, the organisation may also provide therapeutic support to young people who are dealing with past sexual abuse trauma but are not residents, such as service ‘alumni’ who have moved on to independent housing but require further support from us.
The idea for setting up such a service came from Siobhan’s experience as a child sexual abuse survivor. Realising how little practical support is available for young people who are in the critical position of being actively abused by someone they live with and have to see everyday, she believes that the proposed service will offer an innovative and complementary alternative to the statutory services currently available. The organisation will be survivor-led and make full use of peer-to-peer support, hoping to be a result of collaboration with other child protection charities and encouragement from the local community in which it is based.
In order to set up the safe space service, we are looking for:
– Trustees with experience of any of the following:
- Charity management, particularly during the start-up process,
- Charity law (ie. someone to help clarify the forms of charity which may be set up, and how to write the appropriate governing documents)
- In addition, we are hoping to qualify the organisation as ‘survivor-led’, meaning that 50%+1 of the trustee board will have direct experience of sexual abuse in childhood.
Once the trustee board is set up, we will decide on a legal form of charity and prepare the governing documents to send in to the Charity Commission for registration. After that, we can start applying for funding in order to acquire a property. In the meantime, we will also prepare a business plan which will explain how the service will operate in the first year, and detail why such a service is needed.
If you can help or know someone who can then please get in touch with either myself via email@example.com or directly with Siobhan firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance for your help!