A CHARITY supporting Herefordshire survivors of rape and sexual abuse will receive royal recognition later this month.

On Tuesday, July 25 West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, which has provided support to survivors for more than 30 years, will be visited by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester.

The centre recently moved to new and bigger premises in Worcester and has opened its services to parents and children as young as five.

Chief executive officer Jocelyn Anderson said she is keen to share all of the charity's hard work with the Duchess.

She said: "Our vision is to provide survivors of sexual violence with the support they need, when they need it for as long as they need it.

"As you can imagine, funding this objective is an ongoing challenge with our counselling service receiving no dedicated funding from health or local authority budgets. We are privileged to have the support of some 50 plus volunteers who give their time and skills for free as well as a hard-working dedicated staff team. It is a fantastic organisation that I am proud to be a part of.

"This year we have been focusing on ensuring our services are aligned to what survivors tell us they want and need. This has included relocating to an office with facilities specially set up to work with our youngest children. We are keen to share this with the Duchess when she comes to our new premises later this month."

As a local specialist service, WMRSASC has supported more than 2,000 survivors in the last year alone, as well as delivering a number of preventative educational programmes in schools alongside training and awareness raising sessions and a helpline service.

WMRSASC is always looking for people to join their team of volunteers or raise funds for them. They are keen to hear from people who want to work on their helpline or can offer ‘business’ skills support such as administration, finance, marketing, fundraising or public relations expertise.

Call 01905 611655 or email office@wmrsasc.org.u for more information.

If you have been affected by any form of sexual violence, contact the WMRSASC helpline on 01432 344777 .