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'Survivor to thriver': Abuse support group in running for crucial lottery funding

PUBLISHED: 09:08 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:29 09 April 2019

Lowestoft-based Surviving United, which supports victims of abuse, is in the running for National Lottery People's Project funding. Picture: National Lottery People's Project

Lowestoft-based Surviving United, which supports victims of abuse, is in the running for National Lottery People's Project funding. Picture: National Lottery People's Project

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A group dedicated to supporting victims of abuse is in contention to receive thousands of pounds worth of National Lottery funding.

Angela Marnoch co-founded Surviving United in 2016 to help fellow victims of abuse. Picture: Angela MarnochAngela Marnoch co-founded Surviving United in 2016 to help fellow victims of abuse. Picture: Angela Marnoch

Surviving United, which is based in Lowestoft and also operates in Great Yarmouth, was founded in 2016 with the intention of helping both male and female survivors of sexual, domestic and psychological abuse.

Among its activities are peer support groups, walking groups and one-to-one sessions, all designed to help victims overcome the long-lasting effects of their traumatic past experiences.

The group is one of five in East Anglia who could win a share of £3m courtesy of the National Lottery’s People’s Projects, with three of the five receiving up to £50,000 each.

Co-founder Angela Marnoch, who was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, says the group’s funding request of £38,651 would serve as a huge boost.

A recent Surviving United street stall in Lowestoft, where the group raised funds to go towards running costs and collected People's Project votes. Picture: Courtesy of Angela MarnochA recent Surviving United street stall in Lowestoft, where the group raised funds to go towards running costs and collected People's Project votes. Picture: Courtesy of Angela Marnoch

“This is an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and support for our work and, with the public’s help, to secure much-needed funding,” she said.

“This would help us to make an even bigger difference to our local community by ensuring we can continue our work and reach out to even more survivors.”

Since its formation in 2005, People’s Projects has awarded £42m to 960 good causes across the UK and is a chance for the public to have a say in how National Lottery funding is spent.

If successful, Surviving United will use its grant to fund running costs including room hire, office rent and therapy demonstrations. It will also go towards volunteer expenses, advertising and days out for the group’s members.

Surviving United was co-founded by Angela Marnoch, who was a victim of sexual abuse during her childhood. Picture: Courtesy of Angela MarnochSurviving United was co-founded by Angela Marnoch, who was a victim of sexual abuse during her childhood. Picture: Courtesy of Angela Marnoch

“I know I could have done with something like Surviving United many years ago,” added Mrs Marnoch. “There is never any pressure for people to speak out and people can do things in their own time.

“Our group is somewhere for people to feel safe, somewhere for them to talk if they want to. You think you are alone but there are people out there in exactly the same position as you.”

Visit the People’s Projects website to vote for Surviving United. Voting closes at noon on Monday, April 15.

• Surviving United meets at the Kirkley Centre in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Library. For dates and times, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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