Gwent-wide sexual violence support service welcomes new grants

The Horizon project, which delivers services to victims and survivors of sexual violence, has been awarded substantial new grants, securing the future of its Gwent-wide services and supporting development and expansion.

Cyfannol Women’s Aid has successfully applied for grants from The National Lottery Community Fund and Ministry of Justice for its Horizon Sexual Violence Services. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, and Community Foundation Wales and The Henry Smith Charity have also confirmed ongoing funding. With this in place, Cyfannol can extend the reach of its Horizon project, removing barriers and meeting the needs of sexual violence victims and survivors across Gwent.

Since Cyfannol Women’s Aid launched the re-branded Horizon project last year, it has offered support to more than 300 survivors of sexual violence. These grants are welcome at a time when demand for the independent sexual violence advisor and specialist sexual violence counselling continues to rise and take up for new group-based projects is growing. Additional funding will ensure gaps in provision are addressed and support is more accessible at the point of need, reducing the barriers for vulnerable people who find services hard to reach.

In response to feedback from people who have accessed Horizon’s services, new developments will address the support needs of family and friends, expand group education and therapeutic interventions, provide extra support for children and young people, and prioritise good-quality information for all those affected by sexual violence.

At the end of 2018, Cyfannol Women’s Aid took over the management of the Sexual Exploitation Advocacy Support Service, expanding Horizon’s remit to include specialist services for exploited sex workers and women who are at risk of experiencing sexual or financial exploitation. After a period of uncertainty, the new grants will protect this service and its staff.

Helen Swain, CEO of Cyfannol Women’s Aid, said:
“We are delighted to have secured the future of the Sexual Exploitation Advocacy Support Service and its team, and plan to build on the continued success of Horizon to develop its services further. Going forward, we are committed to ensuring that our services are shaped by the people who use them.”

Sally Howells, Horizon Services Manager, said:
“This is a very exciting time for Horizon. In the coming months, we will be launching online services, recruiting another Independent Sexual Violence Advisor and enhancing our specialist counselling service to include support for children aged 13+. With this extra funding in place, thanks to players of the National Lottery and our other funders we can continue to ensure individuals who have experienced sexual violence are heard and empowered, and can look to the future more positively.”

To find out more, visit our Horizon SVS page.