Who are you?
RASAC has been around for over 20 years providing services to residents and people living in the Mid Hampshire area. We offer specialist counselling services for both adults and under 18s who have suffered and survived some degree of sexual abuse or sexual assault. We also offer an information and advice line for anyone who wants signposting on other services or advice as to where or what to do if they encounter sexual abuse or have any questions about sexual abuse or sexual assault. We also have a text and e-mail service for those who wish to contact us and don’t like using the phone. We are part of Communities First Wessex who are a registered charity.
What staff do you have?
RASAC has a paid part time manager, and a paid part time administrator who support our team of 12 volunteer counsellors. The counsellors offer their services for free for anyone residing or living in the mid Hampshire area but also will see people privately for anyone living outside our area who choose to use our services rather than their local one. We are supported by Community First staff for all our support services.
Where are you based and when are you there?
Our centre is on City Road, Winchester. The centre has 3 counselling rooms which are all tranquil, relaxing and secure. We offer counselling between 9am and 9pm to suit the people we are seeing and have an administrator each morning to take calls. You can call to make an enquiry, to ask to see a counsellor and you will be offered an assessment usually within 2 weeks of contact.
Are the counsellors specialists?
Yes the counsellors have all undergone specialist training in sexual abuse and can support victims and survivors with sound knowledge and understanding of all the issues. Many of our counsellors are survivors themselves so understand how you might feel, especially at the beginning of the counselling. The Under 18s counsellors have had additional training in counselling the younger age group. All our counsellors have regular updated training as well.
Do you offer support to those who have not experienced direct sexual abuse or sexual assault?
Yes, we offer a service to anyone who has had some experience of sexual abuse and sexual assault, direct or indirect. We may offer less sessions of counselling but this is assessed on a individual basis at the assessment stage.
How much counselling can I have?
On the whole we offer 26 free weekly counselling sessions which usually take around 9 months to complete. This is because summer holidays, Christmas and other unexpected issues mean weekly counselling isn’t always possible. Counselling is usually weekly but we can offer fortnightly or monthly sessions. Weekly is always preferred once counselling has started, as you may have to deal with some difficult subjects and emotions which are not best left too long to share with the counsellor.
Do I have to pay for counselling?
As part of a charity we do receive a small amount of funding to provide a free counselling service to residents and those living in the mid Hampshire area, but we do ask you at the beginning of your counselling to consider making a donation at each counselling session which goes towards us improving the counselling service we provide. We do provide a fee paying counselling service to those who reside out of our area but wish to come and see a specialist counsellor trained specifically in sexual abuse. The current fee for private counselling is £35 per session.
Is there any support after the counselling ends?
Yes. There are support groups, and other services available to offer ongoing support. You can also come back for more counselling if you need to in the future.
How do I access counselling and what's the process?
You can refer yourself to us for counselling and call us, text us or e-mail us and we will contact you. We then arrange for you to come in and have what’s called an assessment. This lasts for around 50 minutes with one of our team of assessment counsellors and they will see you to discuss what you want from counselling and how we might help you. We usually arrange an assessment within 2 weeks of your contact. You then go onto a waiting list to see a specialist counsellor. The waiting list is not a long one and we hope to offer you a long term counsellor within a month of your assessment. It really depends on when you want your counselling. The more flexible you are around days and times, the quicker we can start the counselling.
Can I complain if I am not happy, as it’s a free service?
Yes of course. You can write, e-mail or call and speak to the manager if you have any issues. If you are not happy with the way things are going its important to let us know so we can resolve anything that’s troubling you about the counselling.
Meet Our Staff
The RASAC staff are all committed to providing a quality service to all those we see from the office team through to the the highly qualified counsellors many of whom have years of experience in counselling victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence. They have all undergone specialist training and continue to update their knowledge and practices, and some have specialist qualifications and are working towards higher counselling qualifications. Many of the staff team at RASAC are survivors themselves.
Steve (RASAC Manager)
Steve manages RASAC services. Steve joined RASAC in 2015 having worked for many years in Child Protection and working with Vulnerable Adults. As a survivor himself he is aware of the issues and the importance of promoting and providing good quality counselling as part of the healing process.
Wajda joined RASAC in 2016 as our administrator and is usually the voice you will hear if you call RASAC. Wajda is also a volunteer with the Samaritans. Wajda works every morning 9.30-12.30.
Susan has been with RASAC since 2003 and undertakes most of the Under 18s assessments as well being one of the counselling team. Susan has a Diploma in Children and Adolescent counselling and has also worked with Adult survivors.
Heidi has a background in working with troubled teenagers including dealing with abusive relationships. Heidi is an experienced counsellor and joined RASAC in 2016, and works with both Adults and as part of the Under 18s service.
Julie has been with RASAC since 2003 and has a huge amount of experience over many years of counselling adult survivors. Julie volunteers in the evenings twice a week.
Rachel joined RASAC in 2016 and works both daytime and evenings with Adult survivors. Rachael is currently studying for higher post graduate counselling qualifications.
Andy has been with RASAC since 2014 providing specialist counselling for many adult survivors. Andy is one of our valued male counsellors. Andy previously worked as a counsellor at the local University dealing with student related welfare issues.
Jim is one of the RASAC assessors as well as an adult counsellor and volunteers two days a week at RASAC. Jim previously worked as a teacher and also ran a walking adventure holidays.
Roxanne has both experience of counselling adults and younger adults, and has also taught on counselling courses. Roxanne was previously involved in dramatic arts as a dancer and she now runs a dance school as well as teaching dance.
Ruth joined RASAC in 2016 and has been a counsellor for many years. Ruth volunteers twice a week in the daytime. Ruth also has other various charitable roles across the area.
Cherrill joined RASAC in 2017. Cherrill works with adult survivors and volunteers twice a week with RASAC. Cherrill used to work as a local teacher before she retired.
Cath works with both Adults and Young People and is one of the assessors in the Under 18s team. Cath has previously work as a counsellor in colleges and previously trained as a midwife.
Jo only joined RASAC in 2017 so is our newest counsellor. Jo has undergone specialist training and is an experienced counsellor specialising in mental health issues having previously worked in mental health services. Jo volunteers in the evenings.
Marianne is RASAC main supervisor and provides all the counsellors with one to one and group support each month. Marianne also undertakes some of the initial adult assessments for RASAC. Marianne previously worked as a counselling supervisor in colleges before joining RASAC and has been a volunteer counsellor in sexual violence and sexual abuse.