Organisers of Worcester Music Festival have revealed that this year’s event raised £4,148.72, which will set the balling rolling on setting up a new county support service for children who have suffered sexual abuse.

The money raised through collections during the three-day, free celebration of live, original music in September will enable Worcestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WRSASC) to take the first steps in creating a much needed specialist therapeutic counselling service for boys and girls aged 11+.

Left to right: Nikki Boraston, Siân Patterson and Ant Robbins

Left to right: Nikki Boraston, Siân Patterson and Ant Robbins

Siân Patterson, policy and sustainability officer for WRSASC, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed and delighted with the amount of money raised for us by Worcester Music Festival.

“It will enable us to purchase all of the facilities and furnishings for the counselling rooms, so that we can create an appropriate, comfortable and friendly environment specific to the clients of our newly-launched children’s counselling service. It will also allow us to buy the resources needed to aid these counselling sessions and outreach work over the next year, which is brilliant.

“Our experience of working with the festival prior to and during the weekend was fantastic, and they put a huge amount of effort into raising awareness of our service, which is invaluable and hugely appreciated. All in all, it was a fabulous weekend, we can’t thank the team, the bands and those who donated enough.”

The new specialist therapeutic counselling service for children builds on WRSASC’s free, confidential and non-judgmental support service for individuals aged over 16 who have experienced rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives, which the charity has provided since 1986.

Overall, the charity is reliant on funding from the local Police and Crime Commissioner, authorities, charitable trusts, donors, organisations and individuals to cope with an annual increase in demand for its services.

However, despite its service statistics, national statistics and current media focus, sexual violence is still not recognised as a priority in any strategic document in Worcestershire.

Festival chair Ant Robbins, who presented the cheque to the charity at a presentation at Worcester Arts Workshop last night (Saturday, October 17), said: “We saw an outpouring of generosity at this year’s festival, with audiences across our venues showing great support for this cause to help set up a vital service.”

The eighth Worcester Music Festival took place in scores of diverse venues, on outdoor stages and in the streets, with around 250 of the best, new and emerging artists from across the UK taking part.

Since the festival was launched in 2008, it has raised more than £40,000 for charity.

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