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ARCH Teesside: 25 Years of Delivering Specialist Sexual Violence Support.

On Friday 16th December 2022 ARCH Teesside marked 25 years of delivering specialist support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.

During the afternoon event, held at The Resource Centre, attendees had the opportunity to share and celebrate ARCH and its journey to supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence over the last quarter of a decade. Guests were welcomed with music provided for by Callie Gatley, a local musician.

The event was opened by Sarah Jane Walker, one of ARCH Teesside’s Trustees with Sarah Jane welcoming guests from Middlesbrough Stockton Mind, Streets Ahead, Tees Valley Buddies, Recovery Connections and many more guests from statutory and voluntary organisations.

Jayne Butler, CEO of Rape Crisis England and Wales, spoke via video link about the of the importance of member Rape Crisis Centres, like ARCH Teesside. She also spoke about the #Keepcounsellingconfidential campaign, an important campaign to ensure survivors have access to valuable therapeutic support without having to fear disclosure of counselling notes.

Jayne informed delegates about the new Home Office commissioned Rape and Sexual Abuse 24/7 Support Line, ran by RCEW and again delivered through different partners including ARCH Teesside. This is to ensure that any survivors, can access support when needed.

Timeline of ARCH over 25 years.

Nicky Harkin, ARCH CEO then took attendees on a journey of ARCH through the years and highlighted key moments and achievements. ARCH has been through a lot of change over the years, including a few name changes and commissioning perspectives.

In the last 25 years ARCH have been at the forefront of national and local ground breaking changes. ARCH were the first home office commissioned Independent Sexual Violence Advisor which is a role that is now part of many services across the country, to help support victims and survivors’ of sexual violence through the criminal justice system. ARCH were also part of the Independent Inquiry in to Childhood Sexual Abuse as partner of Truth Project, helping support survivors’ to share their experiences which has helped bring the seven year project to a close and recommendations being provided.

Over the last few years ARCH have launched The Light Project, which provides support for parent and caregivers of children accessing service, and most recently their ARCH-ED Prevention Programme to help equip children and young people with information and knowledge around consent, relationships and sexual violence.

The afternoon provided an insight in to innovative and growing work of the dedication and passion the team have, to support anyone that experiences sexual violence.

The highlight of the afternoon however has to be the launch of ARCH Teesside’s video – a film to help people who may want to access support and see what might happen. Made with local company Ithica films, ARCH Teesside “Why we are here? “ captures the work ARCH do to help support victims and survivors of sexual violence.

The video features on ARCH Teesside’s new website, which aims to help navigate people to support easier with downloadable information too, from leaflets, to their new self help guide.

As well as information about ARCH Teesside, guests were provided with a buffet lunch, a raffle and a Magic Mirror, provided by Teesside Magic Mirror. A huge thanks to Tilly, Bailey and Irvine for sponsoring the event.

Feedback from the event from attendees included “Wow! What a powerful film. Well done! “Massive achievement of 25 years” “So glad you are here to support victims and survivors’ of sexual violence”

A great achievement for ARCH Teesside to be delivering specialist support for 25 years!

Thank you to everyone that made the event possible.

L-R Sarah-Jane ARCH Teesside Chair of Board of Trustees and Nicky Harkin CEO ARCH Teesside.

To watch ARCH Teesside: Why We are Here

For more information about RCEW #KeepCounsellingConfidential visit:

24/7 Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Line: 0808 500 2222