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Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London

by Aurora Foundation for People Abused in Childhood
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Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London
Helping ten victims of childhood abuse in London

As you have kindly previously donated to Aurora’s Crowdfunding Project you have been receiving regular update reports on its progress.  Our project was made possible by Global Giving - the first and largest global crowdfunding community – and it is part of our agreement to produce regular (i.e. quarterly) project reports. 

This, the 7th report, gives you a number of updates on various activities at Aurora, including a goodbye to one client (John) whose “journey” has been captured in previous reports.  John’s recovery has been made possible by your generous donations.

Workshops

In 2016, Aurora was awarded a grant via Global Giving and one activity funded by this money was to run workshops for Aurora clients.  We run such community events as many victims of abuse are isolated making them socially/emotionally disconnected from other people.  One “ex-client” from Aurora has said:

“I’m often asked what has helped me to get to this stage in my recovery – well one main thing was the therapeutic community I attended at Aurora that helped me to safely build confidence being around others which then helped me to improve how I felt around other people outside of the community. I attended even when I felt I wanted to hide away under the duvet because what I’d learnt in individual therapy could be practised in the safety of community events and that was invaluable to my recovery. I built confidence and gradually felt less afraid of being with other people.”

The last report referred to these workshops and I’m pleased to say that since then we have run two on “Relaxation” and “Self-Care”.   The workshops were attended by 5 and 6 clients respectively and the feedback from both is overwhelming positive.  One client attending the “Relaxation” workshop said:

“Very simple and straightforward, very practical and the effects I found were immensely positive.  Very supportive.

Another attending the workshop on “Self-Care” said:

“Very well presented, easy to follow and in a language that was easy to understand. Also, useful examples and objects presented to further understand the subject matter.  Shared experiences with others at Aurora was also useful”

Aurora Chorealis

Another activity funded by the Global Giving grant is to produce a CD of songs by Aurora’s resident choir called “Aurora Chorealis".  We are still building our repertoire (and musical ability) to be in a position to record but we did perform at our Christmas fundraising “concert” in a local church.  

At the concert, which included a “sing-a-long” for the 50 strong audience,we performed “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Lean on Me”, and one of our members did an extraordinary solo performance of “Starman” backed by the choir and complete with him wearing a David Bowie mask. I wish I had pictures!  The event also included a raffle and we raised over £500.

John’s Journey

John started therapy at Aurora in July 2015 and was first mentioned in the second report published in December 2015 when he said:

“Hi there my name is John.  I have been coming to Aurora for nearly four months now and I have come on so well.  I was abused as a child and I was in such a bad place before so my GP gave Aurora’s details and I contacted them.  I have never looked back.  It’s such a great place to go and talk and the help you get is outstanding.  Even when I still have bad days I can call and have a chat to one of the team which always seems to help.  

There is no way I could do this without the funding because I can’t afford to pay for my help, I am on a low wage and when I’m sick from work I don’t get paid.   Although this is not as regular as it once was I still have bad days and I just can’t work.  I would like to thank you all very much for the funding.”

Early in 2017, John reached the stage in his recovery when he and his counsellor felt he no longer needed therapy at Aurora.  He had his last session in mid January and at the time his mother sent me the following email:

“Over the past year my son John was put forward to your organisation for help after many places saying they couldn't help him. You and all your staff instantly began to help him.

When John first came to you he was in a very bad place and spent most of his days under a blanket unable to get on with his life.

It has been a very long and painful journey for him but with all the help and support your team has given him, especially his therapist, he now has control of his life and is beginning to live again.

I will forever be grateful for all the compassion and care you have given John.

Aurora is a fantastic place and without places like yours I dread to think what would happen to people like John. I know from experience that there aren't many places like yours and you deserve to get all the funding you need to keep these places going. I would also like to say I know how hard you all work getting fundraising so you can help people like John.

This is John’s last session with you and I know he is in a much better place now. I am so proud of him and know he will continue his life with confidence and that is all down to you and your team.”

Although John has ended therapy he remains a very active member of the Aurora Client Advisory Group (ACAG) which is the “user involvement” part of the organisation.  John being able to “graduate” from Aurora is down to his own hard (and painful) work, the dedication and commitment of his counsellor, and also made possible by your support.  Thank you so much!

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Hello again,

This is the latest progress report on our Crowdfunding Project to update you on what's been happening at Aurora since the last one published in August 2016.

In the last report I explained that we would be starting a series of free workshops (made possible by the grant and donations from this campaign) and the first one will be on Saturday, 10 December.  The theme will be "Reiki and Relaxation" and 8 clients will be participating.  We then have a "course" of monthly workshops starting in January which will focus on three specific issues many survivors struggle with: blame & shame; anger & sadness, and intimacy & trust.  I am evaluating all workshops and will briefly summarise findings in the next report.

The last report also referred to a Christmas Concert being performed by Aurora Chorealis (Aurora's own choir) and I'm pleased to say this is taking place on Saturday, 3 December.  It's open to the public and entry is by ticket only so if you are interested in coming along please see attached poster for further details.  To buy tickets contact the Aurora office (0208 541 1951 or info@aurorafoundation.org.uk) or you can just turn up on the day (but you might not get any mince pies or mulled wine!).

Over the summer we had a lovely "Picnic in the Park" fundraiser in nearby Richmond Park where we raised over £300.  Aurora clients agreed that this money should be used to give the "Aurora Centre" sitting room a bit of a facelift (i.e. lick of paint, new cushions, new rugs, new lights)  and we will be doing this in early 2016.

In previous reports I haven't said anything about the Aurora Team and I think it's really important to acknowledge their dedication and commitment to the cause, so thank you to Anna, Hilary, Chantal, Georgie, Julie, Jane, Alex, Connie, Ewa and of course Susannah (our founder and CEO).  A big thank you too to Hilde who recently left Aurora, possibly (hopefully) temporarily.

Once again, many heartfelt thanks for your support in helping us continue our work with victims of childhood abuse.


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A few members of Aurora Chorealis in rehearsal
A few members of Aurora Chorealis in rehearsal

Aurora's Crowdfunding Project has now been running for over a year and this is the latest progress report on what we've done and what we will be doing with the money so very generously donated by you, and from the grant we were awarded by Global Giving earlier this year.   With these two amounts combined we have received over £24000 which is just fantastic. 

The donations and grant will continue to enable us to provide free/low cost counselling to victims of childhood abuse and will go on doing so until the money runs out.  The grant also enables us to provide free workshops for Aurora clients and I’m pleased to say we are now planning these activities to take place monthly with the first one running in December.  The workshops we will be running include:

  • Self-care
  • Working with Blame and Shame
  • Working with Anger and Sadness
  • Working with Trust and Intimacy
  • Art Therapy
  • Reiki and Relaxation
  • Mindfulness

The Aurora Choir (Aurora Chorealis) will also benefit from the grant money as we will be using it to record an album. We are busy rehearsing some songs to include on the cd and I've uploaded a "selfie" photo from our most recent rehearsal.  Aurora Chorealis members include team members (that's me taking the photo) clients and clients' friends and family.  We'll also soon be rehearsing for our first public appearance when we perform a Christmas Concert in early December.  More on this in the next report. 

Big, big thanks again for all your support in helping us continue our work with victims of childhood abuse.

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Aurora's Crowdfunding Campaign started in July 2015 and this is the latest progress report on what we've done with the money so generously donated by you. To date we have received over £9000 from nearly 250 donations which is just fantastic. As you no doubt know, the initial campaign was to raise funds so we could offer free/low cost counselling to victims of childhood abuse and so far your money has helped 6 people receive 129 low cost or free counselling sessions.  The campaign is ongoing so we hope to raise more money to enable us to offer sessions to more people in need who otherwise are unable to afford it.

Some really great news to share with you is that we were successful in a very recent funding application to a "Community Grant" scheme hosted by Global Giving.  This means we will have more funds so we can continue offering sessions to clients and to have the funds to be able to offer workshops and classes.  It is also great news for the Aurora Choir (now called "Aurora Chorealis") as we will be using some of the grant to produce a CD of inspiring and uplifting songs. We hope to have this ready for next year to celebrate Aurora's 10th year as a charity.

Talking of songs, our Crowdfunding Campaign has had a musical element to it with two video versions of a "Song for Aurora" posted during the Gateway Challenge part of the campaign last July. "You've Got a Friend" was performed by Susannah (Aurora's CEO) and also by a group called Rogue Herries. I realise this is overdoing it somewhat but I wanted to share another version which is a remix of the one by Rogue Herries. See link below.

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This is the third report on Aurora's Crowdfunding Campaign which we carried out in 2015.  The initial campaign aimed to raise funds so we could offer free/low cost counselling for up to 5 people abused in childhood, and since then we have extended it so we can help up to 10 people. To date, your donations have helped 5 people who have received a total of 77 counselling sessions. 

Below are testimonials from two clients.  The first is from Julie who featured in the orginal appeal film.

I am so touched by the generosity of people. It’s strange for me to be considered for help at Aurora and it’s always surprising when such kindness is shown to me, I feel touched and full of gratitude. 

I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to those people who have contributed to Aurora. They have enabled me to have a place to go to continue my journey to wholeness. I am discovering my joy and hope in life.  It makes such a profound difference to know there is a loving, supportive place at Aurora for me and for others who also need a warm place to be cared for. I simply feel grateful.

Julie

The second is from the mother of John who himself gave a testimonial in the previous report.

I am John’s mum and I would just like to say a big thank you for all the help you have given my son over the last few months. He was in a really bad way when he first started coming to you and I was so worried about him.

Since attending your sessions he has become more confident and is beginning to show progress.  I know he still has a long way to go but I know with your help he will get there. Thank you so much for giving me my son back and helping him be able to live again. Your organisation is a fantastic place and without you I can't imagine where John and people like him would be.

A video to accompany this report has also been produced that also details the progress of John and Julie.

Once again, many thanks to all who have donated to Aurora. Your money has helped Julie and John, and benefitted three other clients.  We still aim to reach our new target of £10000 so please forward this report to others who you feel may be able to help.

Thank you.

Nick

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Organization Information

Aurora Foundation for People Abused in Childhood

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AuroraHealthUK
Project Leader:
Nick Gauntlett
London, United Kingdom

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