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First Light Impact Report 2020/21

This year’s Impact Report is now available to read. You are able to read the report by clicking here.

We would like to say a huge thank you for supporting First Light and thank you to our wonderful staff for making a such a difference to so many lives every day!

Statement: Lyn Gooding responds to intention of victims to get more time to report domestic abuse in England and Wales

At First Light we are pleased to learn that the government is intending to adopt the amendment from Baroness Newlove and give survivors of domestic abuse a longer time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault.
The change is expected to come as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.
Lyn Gooding, CEO: “As a provider of services that support people adversely affected by domestic abuse, we very much welcome this announcement, especially as it comes off the back of today’s earlier announcement by the Whitehall Watchdog that highlighted the backlog of cases waiting to be dealt with by criminal courts will “remain a problem for many years”, severely affecting victims.
“It sometimes takes years for victims to summon the courage to report their abuse, if and when they do, then there needs to be given sufficient time for a thorough investigation to take place, without the risk of not securing justice just because a case is deemed to be out of time.
“We only hope these proposed changes happen soon to avoid too many more victims being let down by the criminal justice system.”
BBC  Article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58980387

Thank you to Vodafone Foundation: Connected Charities for the donation of 70 sim cards.

We would like to thank the Vodafone Foundation: Connected Charities for the donation of 70 sim cards each with unlimited calls and texts and 20GB of data each month, for 6 months.
Vodafone Foundation is a registered charity and they are supporting other charities by providing free mobile connectivity to help tackle digital exclusion.
According to Vodafone, 1.5 million households in the UK do not have access to digital technology. They are committed to bringing an end to digital poverty and ensuring nobody is left behind. Their aim is to deliver connectivity to one million people by the end of 2022.
They will be used by our Volunteer Mentors, our ISVA team and for DASV victims fleeing without a phone or those which have had their phones retained by Police as evidence.
Richard Baker, First Light’s Director of Governance and Compliance is delighted with the generous donation. He said: “This generous donation from Vodafone will help ensure that our clients can continue to access digital support services including video calls, online chats and email. In a time where we are more reliant than ever on our mobiles, we are incredibly grateful to be able to support our clients in this way.”
Do you have a business that could support our work? Get in touch at [email protected]

Team First Light complete Inflatable 5k in Exeter

On Saturday 16th October Team First Light completed an Inflatable 5K in Exeter to have fun and raise vital funds for First Light.

All 11 members had an exceptional afternoon and flooded the course with their orange, white and blue First Light t-shirts, making people stop and look at who they were running for.

As well as First Light staff, their children also adorned their gym kit to take part and get involved, and it certainly was an afternoon full of laughs and smiles raising money to support those who would benefit from our support to live a life free of domestic abuse or sexual violence.

We are delighted to announce that the team have raised a phenomenal £370 for First Light, £70 over the original target.

Please support us to help others by making any small donation you can. Together we can create a safer South West, where everyone has the opportunity to live free of violence and abuse.

To make a donation please click here.

If you would like to take part and get involved in a challenge for First Light, please email [email protected] for more information.

Thank you China Fleet Country Club Ladies Golf Club for raising vital funds for First Light.

Everyone at First Light would like to say a huge thank you to the Committee and Members of China Fleet Country Club Ladies Golf Club for raising £1,800 for our charity.

It was raised during a year that was difficult for many and it certainly will make an impact on the lives of individuals affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence across Devon and Cornwall.

Want to get involved? Contact Cath at [email protected] for more.

 

First Light wins £10,000 Movement for Good award

We are pleased to announced that First Light has won a £10,000 Movement for Good award from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

First Light is one of 30 charities chosen by a panel of judges to receive £10,000 as part of specialist insurer Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good awards, which is giving £1million to good causes this year.

Ecclesiastical Movement for Good will fund a new project to recruit and train volunteers to provide mentoring and listening support to individuals affected by domestic abuse in Cornwall. 15 volunteers will initially receive in-depth training, as part of an on-going programme. The volunteers will provide regular telephone/video calling support to over 225 individuals every year providing 2,700 hours of listening and mentoring support. Individuals effected by domestic abuse will be able to talk through their experience with their volunteer mentor who will listen, and receive emotional and practical support to deal with the negative impact of abuse allowing them to recover, helping them to:

– Feel heard

– Lose shame or guilt

– Rebuild self-worth

– Value their own decision making

– Recognise the signs

– Understand healthy relationships

The awards are designed to help charities make a real difference in their communities. More than 1,000 charities applied for the funding and the winning projects were selected against four criteria: impact and effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, and care and compassion.

The funding will support First Light’s Volunteer Mentors over the next three years.

“We are delighted to be working with Ecclesiastical Movement for Good to close the gap in support for people effected by domestic abuse in Cornwall. An independent, listening and supportive mentor will be vital in helping many people move forward following abuse, whilst providing vital skills and experience for volunteers”.

Lyn Gooding, Chief Executive, First Light South West.

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive at Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, said: “At Ecclesiastical we believe business should be a force for good. Charitable causes need sustained support and a sense of financial stability. Through the second phase of our Movement for Good awards we are actively championing innovation, giving charities the backing they need to propel their plans forward and turn creative ideas into practical solutions that benefit society. We know that £10,000 can make a huge difference to the incredible work that charities do and we’re looking forward to seeing how this financial boost will change lives for the better.”

“Ecclesiastical, the fourth largest corporate donor in the UK, is a unique financial services group. We are owned by a charity which means all available profits can be given to the good causes that are so important to our customers. As a company whose purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society, charitable giving is at the heart of our business.”

For more information visit: www.ecclesiastical.com/movementforgood

World Mental Health Day 2021

Sunday 10th October is World Mental Health Day 2021 and this year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.

Domestic abuse and sexual violence can have an enormous effect on an individual’s mental health. It is known that abuse (both in childhood and in adult life) is often the main factor in the development of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders which can contribute to further difficulties.

At First Light we offer a range of support to those who are currently experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence or abuse and recovery support is offered by our services. The details of support can be found on our website – http://firstlight.org.uk.

 

First Light Statement – Sarah Everard

6th October 2021.

Lyn Gooding, Chief Executive:

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sarah Everard, following the conviction and sentencing of her perpetrator, and the family and friends of all those murdered on our streets and in our homes.

“The need for real, tangible change to tackle violence against women and girls is long overdue. It should not be left to the responsibility of individual women and girls to keep themselves safe when going about their business. It must become everyone’s responsibility to challenge behaviours and change culture and demand that our politicians act to create a safer society for all.

 “We must all hold those in power to account to bring about real change to protect the lives of those who live in fear of violence and abuse. We do not need yet another review. The time for action is now so that we can start saving lives and preventing more pain and heartache for families and friends.

“For those who are currently experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence or abuse or are a friend or family member concerned about someone else who may be experiencing such abuse, First Light offers a range of help and support, the details of which can be found on our website.”

Swindon and Wiltshire SARC – Asda Foundation Green Token Giving.

First Light’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Swindon and Wiltshire have been nominated to be part of the Asda Foundation Green Token Giving online vote through their local Asda store Swindon Haydon.

The vote is now live and voting will close at midnight on Tuesday 30th November.

Votes can be made once every 7 days, so please to return and revote for First Light in the following weeks.

To vote please click here.

We would like to thank the Community Champion at the Asda Store Swindon Haydon for putting us forward.

Happy voting!

#AsdaFoundation #GreenTokenGiving