Message to supporters from
Lyn Gooding First Light CEO
To say 2020 has been a challenging year would be putting it mildly, the global pandemic has massively impacted the work we do here at First Light. We have seen a significant increase in demand for our services across the board. Most notably calls to our helpline have increased from 2,406 in the first quarter of this year to 3,254 in the second quarter, while referrals to our therapy services have increased over 105% for the same period, with a particular focus on adults suffering domestic abuse, however we have also seen a 100% increase in people engaged in our Change for You programme, a programme for adults who display abusive behaviour within their relationships, which we feel is a real positive as it illustrates peoples motivations to want to change how they behave towards others.
To help us combat this demand we have been successful in securing a number of emergency COVID grants, from Barclays, BBC Children in Need, The National Lottery, Ministry of Justice, The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner in both Devon & Cornwall and Wiltshire, Cornwall Community Foundation and Devon Community Foundation. The monies secured has enabled us to mobilise our services so that they could be delivered remotely, increase capacity across the service as well as provide PPE to our staff so that they can continue to deliver face to face support to our most vulnerable clients.
In addition to this we are particularly grateful to those of you who have helped fundraise and make donations to us this year. Your efforts and donations have helped us develop a number of areas including our volunteer base so that they can provide peer mentoring support to victims of domestic abuse. To demonstrate what difference your money makes, below is an extract from feedback we received from a client receiving peer mentoring support.
“It has been a hugely difficult situation for me and having someone to help you organise your thoughts at a time when you need it…Linda allowed me to do that… lockdown made it like a pressure cooker and I had an unhealthy style of thinking…Your service is invaluable and Linda was brilliant.”
While it is difficult to predict what the future holds, rest assured First Light is in a strong position to continue its most valuable work helping to protect and safeguard all those people whose lives are affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. So I wish to say a big THANK YOU to you all as your support really does help us make a positive difference to people’s lives.
Take care and stay safe