Rape And Sexual Abuse Support Centre, RASASC, Guildford Surrey Counselling, helplines, groups, ISVA and support for men and women
Rape And Sexual Abuse Support Centre, RASASC, Guildford SurreyCounselling, helplines, groups, ISVA and support for men and women

RASASC - Our history

RASASC has steadily grown to see many changes, from increased survivor calls year-on-year to greatly expanded organisational requirements.  Read below for more details.

1992 Need for a referral support centre covering Surrey and Hampshire identified by staff at local GUM Clinic testing for sexually transmitted diseases. 
1993 Initial funding found. First volunteers recruited. September launched telephone Helpline for two evenings per week.
1995 Face-to-Face counselling service began
1996 Telephone service extended to five evenings per week. October 1996 achieved UK Registered Charity status from the Charity Commission.
1997 Employment of RASASC's first part-time paid worker.
1998 Group facilitation training began. First self-help support groups established in September.
1999 All existing services enhanced and continued. Review and restructure of organisation undertaken.
2000 Two intakes of volunteers achieved, enabling possibility to extend RASASC services.
2001 Two intakes of volunteers achieved, enabling possibility to extend RASASC services.
2002 Joined The Survivors Trust (UK national umbrella organisation). Established telephone supervision for other professionals. New publicity drive and extensive coverage in the media. First fundraising event. Obtained Lankelly Foundation grant. Established specialised training for other organisations. Face-to-Face counselling: took on RASASC’s first male counsellor.
2003 Plan implemented for the future of ongoing groups for survivors at RASASC. Two new intakes of volunteers. Website upgraded with multi-language facility for our client base.
2004 Moved to new office. Resolved a financial crisis threatening the survival of RASASC in summer/autumn. Began to plan and fund an expansion of RASASC to increase our volunteer base from 30-70 persons during the next two years. Established a linked counselling service in Woking.
2005 Received Big Lottery Funding to enable focus ontraining new Helpline volunteers. Established new training format, with two more intakes of female Helpline volunteers to work from the RASASC office. Began training male volunteers for a new Male Helpline set up with Victim Fund support, to open in 2006. Guildford Borough Council offered larger and permanent premises at low rent. Ran new support groups, ongoing training and workshops to support Helpline volunteer work.
2006 Focused on fundraising events involving the volunteers. External applicants recruited as further RASASC Trustees. New system introduced to handle regular helpline callers. Recruited counsellors from outside RASASC to increase the number from 10 to 15. Added an extra counselling night in Guildford. Planning began for move to larger premises rented from Council.
2007 Renovated new premises in Haydon Place (paint, furniture etc.) and completed relocation. Helpline calls continued to rise by over 30%. Achieved a greater spread of funding sources providing a larger number of smaller grants. Recruited 2 new counsellors (returning our total to 15) and increased volunteer support to 70. Held our first annual Charity Gliding Day.
2008 New logo. Trifold "silhouette" leaflet. Male helpline closed in February. Service provision continued at steady level while efforts concentrated towards recruiting a new Chair and Trustees for 2009. Website improved in spring and restyled in summer after two years' relative dormancy. Newsletters improved by better layout, adoption of images and conversion to PDFs. Faced threat of closure in Dec 2008 due to lack of funding (situation saved by the Peter de Haan Charitable Foundation and Gallaher Ltd).
2009 Pilot project using 3 helpline volunteers on regular callers' night. Counselling in Woking ceased. Funding became more difficult due to recession.  Situation eased by June with allocations from (new) Lloyds TSB Foundation for England & Wales and Govt Equalities Office (Special Funding).  Website expanded for more emphasis on volunteering and improved updating of current fundraising events. Held July-Sept art competition for 2010 calender.  Autumn training to create first Podcast.  RASASC voted onto the Nat. Executive Committee of The Survivors Trust.
2010 Benefitted from some very generous donations from individuals and groups as well as amazing effort and dedication from volunteers. Services won several awards including Surrey Criminal Justice Award for 2009. Held fourth (and last) annual Charity Gliding day, and first RASASC sponsored BikeRide. Growth of demand for services necessitated an increase in office admin staff (to 3 in total), and the recruitment of 4 more voluntary counsellors (to 20). Funding obtained for an ISVA to be employed through RASASC from December (working from both RASASC office and the Surrey SARC). Anne Milton, MP (Gfd.) and Public Health minister, became a RASASC patron.  Winter Fair combined with booklaunch of fundraising Recipe Book.                              
2011 Fourth office relocation, services maintained despite being temporarily homelessness for a month.  Increase in voluntary counsellors to 20 to cope with increased demand. Website redesign launched in April.  Organised or participated in several extra fundraising events including a March cookery demonstration, May team walk, June absailing, 2nd Annual RASASC BikeRide in July, a cross-channel relay swim in September, and two fundraising charity runs. Actress Susan Penhaligan became our second RASASC patron. Ran 2 helpline training courses. Achieved a high retention of helpline volunteers throughout year.
 2012  Celebrating 20 years.  Jimmy Savile revelations.
 2013  New Freephone Helpline Number launched.  RASASC restructure to accommodate the charity growing larger.