This Manchester-based group works to support survivors of torture that come to the UK as asylum seekers. The Activity Fund offers support on a long-term basis, and aims to ease the physical and mental pain often experienced by survivors of torture. Work includes encouraging and assisting people to access community facilities, helping people to source practical items they need such as equipment and books for college courses, helping with jobs information and advice, and accessing volunteering opportunities, training or suitable jobs. Overall the work improves survivors’ emotional and psychological wellbeing, supports positive mental health, and helps with their rehabilitation. It provides a friendly face in an otherwise quite frightening world.

At the October 2021 Trustee meeting, a grant totalling £5,000, split equally over two years was made. The funding will go towards two projects that the group runs – supporting people to access local leisure centres with passes; and assisting with practicalities through its Positivity Building Project. Outcomes of the work include that survivors of torture will have improved physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing; and that they will feel more positive, confident, and start to alleviate their difficulties.

Eating Distress North East works to support anyone affected by eating distress – a term used to include people with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia for instance, and all those with anxieties around, or difficult relationships with, food and eating. Based in central Newcastle, it’s services are open to anyone from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham. It aims to provide high quality services to individuals and their family members/carers, and to facilitate understanding and early identification. It offers one-to-one support as well as counselling; fortnightly health and wellbeing workshops; a monthly friends and family support group; mindfulness courses; training courses for carers; and provides training and educational talks in schools, colleges and workplaces to raise awareness and upskill others. Around 3,000 people benefit per annum.

At the October 2021 Trustee meeting, a two-year grant of £5,000pa was agreed for Eating Distress North East. The grant will contribute towards general running costs of the charity. Expected outcomes are that: the charity will ensure early help and intervention for individuals, and achieve better understanding of and improved mental health; it will help people develop coping strategies and help them move on with their lives from a critical time; and that individuals will have reduced loneliness and social isolation as a result of the charity’s support.

The Maggie Oliver Foundation works to support adults who had been victims of child sexual abuse. Named after its founder, a former detective who exposed the Rochdale grooming scandal after she resigned from the police force over ten years ago, the Foundation is based in Manchester but has a national reach. It provides support in a range of services including a listening ear phoneline, advocacy for survivors through any legal process they wish to take, and through trauma-focussed group therapy. One-to-one support is provided throughout the engagement and the charity works with survivors of child sexual abuse across the UK. It also works to advocate for better services and improved support structures to be available to survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Allen Lane Foundation agreed a grant totalling £7,800 at the October 2021 Trustee meeting. This funding is to fund core costs including phoneline costs, website and IT support including for the charity’s database and systems that enable it to work more effectively. Overall, the outcomes of the Foundation’s work are that more survivors are heard, supported and guided on their recovery journey; that there are positive changes in policy and practice by statutory authorities to improve support to survivors; and that there is increased accountability for those with responsibility for survivors of child sexual abuse.