Southmead Project is a registered charity providing free therapeutic and practical support to adults who were abused as children and have turned to drugs, alcohol and other ways of self-harming as a consequence of that trauma.
Fundraising push

1:33 pm, July 20, 2017

Our year-long fundraising and awareness-raising push continues apace this month with three events in quick succession.

Following a hugely successful event at Bournemouth University, the Wall of Silence called in at Easton Community Centre last week. Shortly after, on Tuesday 18 July, we hosted a successful fundraiser at Henbury Golf Day. Twenty-two teams of four took part and raised more than £4,000 in the process.

Our CEO, Dr Mike Peirce MBE, was particularly pleased with the number of participants who came from the corporate sector. He says: “By taking part these businesses are practically demonstrating their corporate social responsibility and, in addition, a clear empathy for and desire to help the client group we support, which is so refreshingly welcome and hugely encouraging.”

Mike and co. will be hitting the green again on Saturday 22 July at Filton Golf Day.

He continues: “Our fundraising drive is there to try and ensure the longevity of Southmead Project and also to reduce our waiting list, which currently stands at 60 people with 35 waiting for initial assessment.

“Recent funding set-backs have exacerbated an already desperate situation.

“The hugely successful Wall of Silence exhibition at Bournemouth University has clearly indicated that child abuse is a nationwide problem, hence our plea to Parliament.”

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Summer round-up

10:30 am, July 13, 2017

Suspension of client referrals
If you follow our Twitter feed you’ll know that we’ve had to suspend client referrals until 1 October 2017. This is due to the high demand for our counselling services, which has grown to an all-time high. Our waiting list is now at its maximum – 60 people with 35 waiting for their initial assessment – but we are confident that we can begin to accommodate new clients when the autumn rolls around and we recruit more counsellors… and hopefully secure more funding too. We’ll keep you posted with our progress both here and via Twitter.

Wall of Silence at  Bournemouth University
Wall of Silence visited Bournemouth University this month as part of the its Festival of Learning. It’s the third academic institution to host the Wall and was, says Southmead Project’s own CEO Dr Mike Peirce MBE, “a huge success”. Mike thanked all the contributors to the Wall and said “another huge stride in tackling child abuse [was] made”. At its height, the #wallofsilence achieved 7.3m Twitter impressions and the event helps to further raise awareness of the impact of child sexual abuse. We send our sincerest thanks to BU’s Dr Andy Mayers (a patron at Dorset Mind and Chair of Acts Fast) for hosting the event.

Date for your diary – AGM
Our AGM will be held on Friday 17 November at New United Reformed Church in Southmead. We’ve had an extremely busy year and look forward to updating all our supporters on the progress we’ve made over the last 12 months. Please come along if you can and help us continue in our aim of raising awareness of the impact of child abuse. More details will be released as the date nears – keep checking our website and Twitter feed for details.

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Making waves

3:48 pm, May 30, 2017

Our fearless CEO, Dr Mike Peirce MBE, talks to us about Paddle to Parliament, which will see him take to the water to raise awareness for victims of child abuse.

You’re planning on rowing from Wiltshire to the Houses of Parliament in London. Why?
For some 25 years I have had to battle all the way to raise funds for Southmead Project so that it can carry out its work with victims and survivors of child abuse. Very little of our funding has come from the statutory sector and we’ve received consistently dismal responses from Bristol City Council over those years. The clear message this sends out – to this charity and the people who cross our threshold seeking help with their plight – is that their pain, their anguish and their voice has neither  been acknowledged or heard. The message from Bristol City Council is that there is no budget from central government for the type of work we do – and so the situation will remain the same unless we get MPs from across the political spectrum to put aside politics and agree a centralised budget for the client group. Money can then be allocated to cities like Bristol and distributed accordingly.

Your brother, Terry, is joining you. What is his motivation?
Terry lived in the same house as me when we were children and, while he was not abused in any sexual ways, he obviously witnessed appalling domestic abuse and assault. This affected him in many ways and he is a champion for change. And he loves his brother!

Terry and I and many others across our country simply do not believe that children should be continually paying the price for ineptitude, denial, thoughtlessness and couldn’t-care-less attitudes from the government, or anyone else for that matter. There are appalling levels of abuse going on as I write this – in fact, reports suggest that every 10 minutes the police handle a call directly related to child sexual abuse from across the country. We need to get real here, as those children will grow into adults and it is these adults who will be crossing the thresholds of agencies like Southmead Project in the future.

When are you setting off and how long do you think it will take you?
We set off on 11 September 2017 at 10am from Caen Hill Locks and expect to arrive at the Houses of Parliament sometime on the 16 September.

How can people show their support for Paddle to Parliament?
We will be setting up a donation page closer to the start date –  stay in touch via the website or Twitter @SouthmeadProj


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