NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood) has been awarded new funding to run six new support groups over three years, thanks to a grant of £59,226 from the Philip King Trust. The two support groups in 2018 will start in the autumn, one in London SE1 and the other in the Midlands, location to be confirmed shortly. Potential participants are being invited to register their interest now.

Each support group is led by two experienced facilitators who deliver a closely structured sequence of sessions. Participants attend weekly for 12 sessions, lasting 2 ½ hours each. There are up to 12 participants per group, women and men who suffered abuse in childhood. The groups use a mix of innovative and proven approaches to trauma recovery based on the latest research and on NAPAC’s many years of working with survivors.

The aim of NAPAC’s support groups is to empower participants to take more control of their own lives, including on-going healing choices, and to be able to see themselves as not having to be defined by the abuse they suffered. All of this often leads to improved relationships, less reliance on other health services and more social integration including employability.

Gabrielle Shaw, CEO of NAPAC said: “Many adult survivors feel such emotions as shame, grief, guilt and anger. It can take years for people to seek help as they grew up thinking abuse was a ‘normal’ part of life, because for them, it was. Survivors may have problems with their own relationships, with intimacy, trust and repeated patterns of behaviour. We help people recognise behaviour patterns and unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drugs, alcohol and for food, so they can be changed to healthy ones.”

Participants from previous groups reported improvements such as reduced distress and isolation, better coping mechanisms, improved recovery from depression, eating disorders, decreased dependence on drugs or alcohol, reduced self-harm and decreased interaction with health services.

Gabrielle Shaw added: “If our support groups were routinely available via the NHS, the heathcare savings and the benefit to society in general would be enormous.”

Demand for NAPAC support group places (12 per group) has consistently far outstripped supply, receiving over 1,500 email enquiries for the 228 places in 19 groups run so far. Each support group costs approximately £10,000 in total. Previous funders have included the Home Office, City Bridge Trust and others.

To date, NAPAC has run support groups in London, Manchester, Belfast, Oxford, Dorking, Watford, Birmingham, Cardiff, Warrington, Bradford and Nottingham. Each group was fully evaluated using the same evaluation system (CORE) that the NHS uses and showed excellent results.

Please register your interest now via our support groups page Support groups. 

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