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Community First to merge with BRASACC to form an expanded rape and sexual abuse counselling service across Mid- and North Hampshire

30/11/2020

Communities First Wessex (trading as Community First) and Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre (BRASACC) are pleased to announce their intention to merge on April 1st 2021.

BRASACC will be amalgamated with Community First’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling service (RASAC), creating a new service which will operate across Mid- and North-Hampshire. RASAC already provides services in the North of the county where BRASACC operates and by bringing the two organisations together we will create the best chance of long-term sustainability, whilst offering greater service capacity to our clients.

The decision to merge was made by BRASACC members at their AGM on November 4th 2020, authorising the BRASACC Board to proceed with the merger on April 1st 2021, assuming no significant issues arise in completing Due Diligence, and to subsequently dissolve BRASACC. The Board of Community First have approved the merger and it will be put to the membership to endorse at their AGM in January 2021.

The merger will have no impact on clients in counselling on April 1st 2021, with counselling continuing as normal, with the same counsellor, until their sessions come to an end. The enlarged organisation will continue to deliver counselling from bases closest to our clients, currently in Winchester, Andover and Basingstoke, with plans to provide a facility in Rushmoor in the coming year. In response to COVID-19 restrictions, both services have moved their counselling online using secure technologies, and are now able to serve a wider geographic area. Online counselling has been very successful and will be available to clients going forward, in addition to traditional face-to-face counselling.

Trevor Lewis, Vice-Chair of Community First says:

‘This is an exciting opportunity for both RASAC and BRASACC, we look forward to the enlarged service working for the benefit of our service users, staff and volunteers, focusing on reducing waiting times and broadening our service offerings.’

Kathy Wilson, Chair of BRASACC says:

‘Both BRASACC and RASAC have been providing specialist counselling services in a very complex area for many years and we have shared ethical and professional values which make us a good fit. BRASSAC joining Community First gives us a better opportunity to sustain this much needed service for the long-term.’

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