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  1. A crisis in young people’s mental health – World Mental Health Day



    On World Mental Health Day (an annual event that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues) we want to acknowledge the current crisis in mental health among children and young people. There have been a number of really shocking reports released in the UK that highlight the increasing levels of mental illness, particularly among girls.

    According to a survey by the Young Women’s Trust 38% of girls and young women show high levels of mental distress, and 29% of boys and young men. According to a report by Girlguiding, 80% of girls and young women aged 8-21 feel that looks are the most important thing about them.

    At RSVP, we take a trauma focused response to our services. Rather than asking ‘what is wrong with you?’, we try to understand what has happened to a person and how this impacts on their mental health and wellbeing. We provide young people with a safe and supportive space to talk about their feelings, we don’t judge and we understand that each survivor copes with trauma in their own way. If you want to get in touch about our specialist practical and emotional support for 5-18 year olds who are survivors of sexual abuse, contact our Advocacy (ISVA) team on 0121 643 0301 option 2 or


    Posted 10 October 2016
  2. Our exceptional ISVA team!


    We’re delighted to announce that the RSVP Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (ISVA) team has been given the Exceptional ISVA Team award at the first Limeculture Limelight awards, a real credit to their tireless work for survivors. The award acknowledged the immense changes that the ISVA team had gone through, including losing a much loved team member Vicky Bardsley, to cancer last year.

    Lime Culture are the training establishment who offer a high standard of training to ISVAs around the UK.

    The Umbrella sexual health partnership has seen the ISVA team double in size this year and really broaden the scope of advocacy support, developing the profession and what it means to advocate for survivors.

    Yvonne Langham, Head of ISVA Services and Margaretta Vauls, Children & Young Person’s ISVA, were there to accept the award along with CEO Lisa Thompson.

    “As Head of ISVA Services at RSVP, I am absolutely delighted that our amazing ISVA team has won the Lime Culture LimeLight Award 2016. We had a really lovely day which ended fantastically when we were announced as the most exceptional ISVA team. Wow, I’m still smiling and feeling terribly proud!  The lovely glass trophy I accepted on behalf of the team now sits in our reception area, please take a look when you next pass through.

    This award confirms that our staff are truly a remarkable bunch of people, who always go the extra mile and work to the best of their ability to offer support to those who need it. We assist any female or male survivor who needs advocacy support with anything relating to the sexual abuse or sexual violence they have suffered. For example, we can assist with medical appointments, arranging counselling or helping people all the way through the Criminal Justice Process should they decide to report the abuse to the police. There are many ways the ISVA team can assist you, please feel free to ask for a call from one of us if you feel we may be able to help.

    Due to prior ISVA commitments such as attending Court or accompanying clients to sexual health screening, getting everyone together for a Team Award picture has proved to be a challenge! I have taken a photograph of each member of the team with the wonderful award.” Yvonne Langham, Head of ISVA Services.

    Margaretta was also nominated in the children’s ISVA category, well done Margaretta! The children’s ISVA award was named the ‘Vicky Bardsley award’ in memory of our wonderful friend and colleague. The winner of that award was Helen Leach of RASA Merseyside who has set up a children’s service from scratch.

    Thank you to Limeculture, and to those who nominated the team.

    You can read more about the ISVA service here


    Posted 6 October 2016
  3. Lisa our Local Leader

    We’re so proud of Lisa, our CEO, who recently won a Birmingham-wide Local Leader Award 2016 for her leadership here at RSVP. She received her award alongside other third sector leaders in Birmingham for her excellence in leadership, her commitment to her team, and her contribution to society.

    In her video application, Lisa talked about her team being her inspiration, and her job as a leader merely about creating a positive environment for her team to thrive in.

    “My job…is to create a nurturing, safe, boundaried environment where my team can get on with their work, utilise their skills and fly. Where they can harness their knowledge and humanity to restore the broken trust of the people we support, and for that I celebrate and salute them.”

    We salute you too Lisa, thank you for your great leadership and we look forward to a bright future with you at the helm.

    For more information about the Local Leaders Awards see their website here.


    Posted 21 September 2016
  4. LimeLight Award Nominations!

    Our amazing team has been recognised once again, this time by LimeCulture – the UK’s leading sexual violence training and development organisation. This year marks LimeCulture’s first ‘LimeLight’ awards, which aims to ‘acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individual ISVAs, ISVA Teams and ISVA Managers who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence through their work’.

    We are honoured to have been nominated for two out of the possible four awards.

    Margaretta Vauls has been nominated in the ‘Children and Young People’s ISVA’ category (named the Vicky Bardsley Award after our colleague, who was a children’s ISVA) for her outstanding commitment and contribution to her field of work.

    The whole RSVP ISVA team has been nominated in the ‘Award for Exceptional ISVA Team’ category, a real credit to their constant demonstration of excellence in the service of survivors.

    We couldn’t be more happy and proud of our ISVA team in being recognised, but also for the incredible work we know that they do everyday, helping survivors to cope and thrive through difficult circumstances. Thank you to LimeCulture for recognising us in this way.

    The awards will be announced on 28th September, so keep your eyes peeled for the results!


    Limelight image


    Posted 21 September 2016
  5. We just had our AGM…

    Thank you

    Our Annual General Meeting took place last night (13th September) in the RSVP offices. It was a great evening looking back and reflecting on the year we have had, and celebrating all we have achieved. Achievements such as supporting over 1000 counselling clients, over 2000 helpline callers, and over 450 adult ISVA clients, meaning that including all our other services, we supported 4,193 clients this year, a 54% increase on last year’s figures. We were also able to celebrate because 82% of our clients reported an increased feeling of confidence, 90% of our ISVA clients felt better informed about police and court processes due to ISVA support, and 100% of clients were more hopeful for their future.

    The year has been a huge success, with our office expansion, new services being offered, and new staff being employed. All of this means we are able to do more to see survivors of sexual abuse flourish and live their lives to the full.

    Last night was also an opportunity to give out our annual ‘Above and Beyond Awards’, presented by our Chair, Sally Plumb. These are to recognise members of staff and volunteers who do so much more than is asked of them in service of our clients. This year’s winners were Emma Jordan (one of our counsellors), Margaretta Vauls (a child and young person ISVA and counsellor), and to the whole RSVP Team as a whole for continuing through this year in the face of a huge office expansion, and the loss of our beloved colleague, Vicky.

    If you would like to know more about our year, and the successes we have had, our annual report will be available on here shortly.

    Posted 14 September 2016
  6. BCLC Autumn Quiz Fundraiser!

    On Tuesday 18th October, Birmingham Chinatown Lions Club will be hosting their Autumn Quiz in aid of RSVP! The event will take place from 7:30pm at Edmunds Brew House (B3 2ES), and costs just £5 per person to enter – which includes canapes on entry.

    If you’re a keen quizzer, or just want to support us in the work that we continue to do, book in a team of up to six people with Lion Stewart, who can be contacted on 07973833519 or Thank you in advance for your support, we can’t wait to see you there!

    (Click on the image below to take you to our event page for the quiz)

    JPEG_BCLC Autumn Quiz 2016[54550]

    Posted 6 September 2016
  7. Vacancy: Receptionist

    RSVP are recruiting a part time receptionist for 24 hours per week. Your duties will include answering the telephone, welcoming clients, and administration.

    Successful applicants will be required to start as soon as possible.

    Salary: £15,523 pro rata

    Hours: Wednesday 9am-5pm, Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-5pm

    To apply, please email a completed application form to Closing date 26th September 2016.

    If you would like to discuss this vacancy, please speak to Anjella Darcy 0121 643 0301.

    Job Description

    Person Specification

    Application Form


    Posted 30 August 2016
  8. ISVA Limelight awards

    Limeculture’s LimeLight Awards for outstanding ISVA support is open for nominations until Wednesday 31st August. The four awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individual adult ISVAs, children ISVAs, ISVA Teams and ISVA Managers who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence through their work.

    Vicky and Lisa

    Vicky Bardsley (right) with RSVP CEO Lisa Thompson

    The LimeLight Children’s ISVA Award is dedicated to Vicky Bardsley,   an accredited ISVA who worked at RSVP. Vicky sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2015 leaving behind her family, many friends and her committed colleagues, and a positive legacy for the many sexually abused children and young people that she has supported.

    If you you have received excellent support from an ISVA, you can nominate them for an award, follow the link to download a nomination award and cast your vote. Return your completed nominations via email to

    Posted 25 August 2016
  9. We’re recruiting volunteer counsellors

    If you’re a qualified or student counsellor, you could make a huge difference to the lives of survivors of sexual abuse by joining RSVP as a volunteer. You will be fully supported by a professional team  and be part of a unique, specialised service in Birmingham and Solihull.

    Counsellors support survivors of any kind of sexual violence, including rape, childhood sexual abuse, forced prostitution and sexual assault.

    There are 14 spaces available. The deadline for applications is Sunday 6th November, and should be sent via email to

    More information, including interview and training dates, and the application form are in the links below.

    Volunteer Counselling Cover letter


    RSVP Leaflet

    To discuss further, contact Anjella Darcy, Head of Counselling and Wellbeing Services on 0121 643 0301



    Posted 25 August 2016
  10. Don’t be Afraid.


    A guest blog by Lisa Thompson, RSVP’s CEO.

    “Don’t be afraid”… that’s what my late beloved grandma, Nana Gina used to say when I was considering helping myself to more of her home made cooking. However, exactly 4 weeks before the beginning of my Icelandic, 6 day 155 mile run (250km for you more modern folk) I confess to being a little bit scared, well perhaps even more so.


    Just like my Nana Gina’s comments which were meant to encourage and give permission to go for what you wanted, that’s how I’m choosing to interpret my fear. It’s telling me to go for it and feel encouraged. Going for a big challenge and a dream you’re chasing is not quite as easy as helping yourself to more of Nana Gina’s home made apple pie but maybe the message is no different; don’t let fear stop you from going for what you want. It’s a good thing to be reminded of as it’s easy to let fear and self doubt talk us out of a dream or to delay it until another day, which rarely seems to arrive. So for you and for every survivor of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence (who I’m running for and being inspired by) let me give you a ‘thumbs up ‘ to go for that apple pie, to be open about your fear, reach out for support and achieve the dream you want, after all life is just too short not to.

    If you can help please share my sponsorship page:

    Posted 1 August 2016

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