The Rape and Sexual Advice Support Service (South Buckinghamshire)

The charity provide free, confidential support and information service to female survivors of rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, honour-based violence and FGM.

The background

The Rape and Sexual Advice Support Service (South Buckinghamshire) has accessed a range of support from Community Impact Bucks over several years, including training events on topics such as safeguarding and writing a fundraising strategy, as well as one-to-one support sessions on funding and governance, specialist coaching and legal support.  In 2021, the charity approached Community Impact Bucks to help the charity with its restructuring.

The challenge

The Rape and Sexual Advice Support Service (RSASS) had experienced a difficult period, with both internal and external pressures which were further intensified by the pandemic.  To address this, the charity’s new Chair, Jacqui York, started a transition process involving trustee recruitment and a change to the staffing structure.

The solution

Jacqui accessed Community Impact Bucks’ Coaching for Impact and Mentoring for Success support – one-to-one coaching and mentoring sessions where she had the opportunity to ask specific advice related to her role as a Chair and for guidance on the next steps to take the charity forward. This helped establish Jacqui’s position as Chair of the Charity, as Jacqui commented:

“The sessions with Alexandra and Warren were empowering and gave me more confidence. It helped me focus more on what I could achieve in my position as Chair of the Board of Trustees.”

The result

Following advice from Community Impact Bucks, RSASS advertised for new board members and successfully recruited a Vice Chair and a Treasurer for the organisation.  It is now able to implement the succession plan with confidence and feels able to recruit additional trustees to further strengthen the Board.

RSASS also transitioned from an unincorporated Charity to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, opening up some important benefits such as having a separate legal personality and trustee limited liability. Support from Community Impact Bucks also enabled the organisation to develop relevant policies and procedures to ensure robust governance and make sure the organisation is ready for accreditation.

Community Impact Bucks also provided funding support to help the charity identify where to find funding and how to access it in the future.  These funding sessions lead to the organisation finding a contact who has since donated new furniture to furnish client rooms.

In summary

“It has been a difficult couple of years for the charity through the pandemic but, knowing that Community Impact Bucks are there to help with support and advice is very reassuring and has helped us to build our resilience.” Jacqui York, Chair

Published on April 6, 2022

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Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society