1 April 2021
Communities First Wessex (trading as Community First) and Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre (BRASACC) are pleased to announce their merger from April 1st 2021.
BRASACC will be amalgamated with Community First’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling service (RASAC), creating a new service which will operate across Central and North Hampshire. The expanded service will be relaunched as START (Sexual Trauma and Abuse Restorative Therapy). RASAC already provides services in the North of the county where BRASACC operates. Bringing the two organisations together creates the best chance of long-term sustainability, whilst offering greater service capacity to clients. The merger will have no impact on clients in counselling on April 1st, with counselling continuing as normal, with the same counsellor, until their sessions come to an end. START will continue to deliver counselling from bases closest to clients, currently in Winchester, Andover and Basingstoke, with plans to extend to Hart and Rushmoor in the coming year. START will offer face-to-face counselling services, supplemented by on-line and telephone counselling as options, plus peer support groups.
Trevor Lewis, Vice-Chair of Community First says: ‘This is an exciting opportunity for both RASAC and BRASACC, we look forward to the launch of START, working for the benefit of our service users, staff and volunteers, focusing on reducing waiting times and broadening our service offerings.’
Kathy Wilson, Chair of BRASACC says “Both BRASACC and RASAC have been providing specialist counselling services in a very complex area for many years and we have shared ethical and professional values which make us a good fit. BRASACC joining Community First gives us a better opportunity, through START, to sustain this much needed service for the long-term.”
We would like to thank our funders for their support which sustains these much needed services, including The Ministry of Justice (through the Hampshire OPCC), the Hampshire OPCC, HCC and the NHS, plus our many donors and the activities of the Friends of RASAC, now to become the Friends of START.
Call our Advice & Support Line on 01962 868 688 or 01962 864 433
Anonymous SMS Text helpline service: 07860 027 793
Available 24 hours
"I am now in control of my thoughts and my life. I have gained self-confidence in so many ways and I am no longer haunted by the past."
"I have been given the tools to cope with everyday life. Without counselling I would have continued to deny my situation and feelings which was having extreme detrimental effect on myself, family and friends… RASAC has saved me from self destruction without the support I would have crumbled – a true life saver."
"My RASAC counselling has completely changed my life… I am a better mother, a more involved member of the community and I am able to keep myself safe."
"I was counselled for almost a year. I had a wonderful counsellor who helped me through a very difficult and unpleasant time in my life. It has been a process of healing by revisiting past places which at one time felt unimaginable. The journey has been raw and unnerving but slowly I came to see how I was repairing my damaged self. I finally accepted ownership of what had happened to me and was able to let go of my guilt and shame. My counsellor understood my outlook on life and created a connection with me that was very special. I eventually looked forward to my session as a weekly debrief rather than a purge. I am as happy and confident as I have ever been and I tell people about what I have learnt to help turn their negativity into positivity. Fear can be a very powerful emotion and prevent us from moving on in our lives but once it is confronted the clouds separate and you can focus on that hint of sunshine."
"Thank-you for the support, for the first time since talking about the sexual abuse to someone it is really helping me."
"Thank you so much for all your time and support while I was working through all of the stuff that happened - I really couldn't have done it without your help and input." Male client - June 2021
"The support, understanding and guidance that I've received from START has been life-changing. The whole process has been crucial for me to understand some of the trauma I'd experienced during my childhood. Who I've become as a consequence, who I am today, and how I process some of my thoughts, feelings and emotions." - April 2023
"I cannot thank Sarah at START enough for the counselling I received. I was a bit sceptical of the EMDR therapy I was offered at first but it really has helped me a great deal and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to go through it." - April 2023
"I'd like to thank everyone involved at START. You're doing a phenomenal job. I can't stress how important this journey has been for me. It's been a life altering experience." - April 2023
"Thank you for the Lotus week end, my life is taking a turn for the better and my new journey begins now." - July 2023