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COVID update!

24th September 2020

ARCH services have continued to operate throughout the COVID pandemic albeit a little differently and we want to thank all of our clients, staff, and volunteers for the ways in which they have adapted to this to keep everyone as safe as possible. You have been amazing!

As the rules around the management of the pandemic change on a regular basis, we also want to take this opportunity to let you know that we continue to be here for you if you have experienced sexual violence or abuse and need our support.

You can refer to us through our website, using this link https://www.archnortheast.org/self-referral/ or call us on (01642) 822331 to speak to our specially trained referrals team about how we can help.

We are currently offering a mix of online, email, telephone, and face to face support and our building is now open for counselling sessions which are taking place with strict protocols in place to help us reduce the possible risk of infection.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer home visits and outreach appointments presently but will continue to review this in line with latest Government guidance.

Please do keep an eye on our website (www.archnortheast.org) Facebook (/archnortheast) and Twitter (@ArchNorthEast) accounts as we will be using these to post updates about our services. 

Stay Safe & Take Care,

Team ARCH

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Board of Trustees – Join the team!

We are looking for volunteers to join our Board of Trustees!

ARCH North East is a constantly evolving organisation with a real ethos for developing and delivering quality, local services for people affected by sexual violence/abuse. We support women, men and children of all ages whether the experience was recent or happened a long time ago.

Volunteers play an important role within the service and we are looking to recruit new volunteers to join our dedicated and hard-working board of trustees. Trustees play a vital role in supporting the governance and strategic direction of the charity and we are looking for people of all ages and backgrounds to join us.

If you have skills and experience in any one of the following areas of finance, marketing, fundraising, business development, charity governance, or feel that you have skills and experience that would bring a benefit to the role then we would like to hear from you, please get in touch.

There is no need to have previous trustee experience as an induction and training will be provided but an understanding of our area of work would be an advantage. More information about ARCH can be found on our website www.archnortheast.org

This is an excellent opportunity to broaden your experience and help shape a dynamic local charity making a difference for victims and survivors. You will be asked to attend up to six board meetings per year and to be active members of the board, working to advance the aims and objectives of the charity.

Please email our office manager Elaine Wilson at e.wilson@archnortheast.org for further information or contact us on 01642 822335. Closing date Friday the 3rd July 2020.

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COVID-19 Update

24th March 2020

We have now moved our support away from the ARCH building and are providing support through telephone, email and on-line methods. This is to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff team, volunteers, service users and their families.

What does this mean in practice?

  • Your counsellor, ISVA or support worker will be in contact with you over the phone (if they haven’t already done so) to explain this new way of working and to answer any questions or concerns.
  • If you have recently been referred to our service or are currently on our counselling waiting list, a member of the team will call you (if they haven’t already done so) to explain your options for support.
  • We will continue to accept referrals to the service but ask that you are patient with us at this time as it may take a little longer to for us to contact you.     
  • Our office phone line (01642) 822331 has been diverted and we will continue to pick up calls to the service. If you do however have any issues getting through to us, please leave a message and we will arrange to call you back.
  • If you have any questions or need to get a message to us, you can also use the contacts page on our website. We will get back to you as soon as we possibly can.

We understand that this is a really anxious time for lots of you and we want to reassure you that we will be there to support you. The way that we do that might change but we are committed to being there for you when you need us.

Teesside SARC are also accessible 24/7 through the regional SARC support line 03333 44 8283

If you feel that you are in crisis the Samaritans number is 116 123 and it is free from any phone.

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HealthWatch STAR Awards- Shortlist

We are so pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for not one but two Healthwatch South Tees Star Awards!

⭐ The ARCH Counselling Service has been shortlisted in the ‘Valued Service’ category ⭐

⭐ Our fabulous counselling team member Kerri has been shortlisted in the ‘Excelling in Support to Others’ category. ⭐

It’s absolutely fantastic to see our hard-working team members be recognised for their continuous commitment to providing a quality service to survivors of sexual violence across Teesside! Both nominations are very well deserved, and we’re sure you will join us in wishing our Counselling Team, and Kerri the best of luck!

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ARCH and our response to the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

STATEMENT TO CLIENTS

Following latest government advice for the public to socially distance themselves and our concerns around your health and welfare, we have taken the difficult decision to limit our face to face contact. As a preventative measure to help reduce the spread of the virus, we are now providing telephone, email and online support only. 

We are not closing, and we will continue to do the very best we can to keep you informed and support you and your family but for now, that will be by other means than face to face meetings.

Your welfare and that of your family are paramount to us and please be assured this is a temporary measure to limit the spread of the virus. We will be resuming our usual service as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please refer to our website and social media pages for updates as this situation is changing very quickly and we will use these to provide information to people. 

Please be advised that the Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) Live Chat helpline is still operating as usual, details of how to access this are on the ARCH website here. and there is also a range of self-help resources available on the RCEW website.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.

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RCEW National Service Standards Accreditation

ARCH North East are so proud to have recently been awarded our National Service Standards Accreditation from Rape Crisis England and Wales.

Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) is the National Umbrella organisation for specialist rape crisis centres. The National Service Standards (NSS) provide a quality assurance framework that enables services to demonstrate how their services are provided within professional frameworks that prioritise safety, governance, empowerment and continuous improvement.

This means we have met this robust set of standards, and the accreditation lasts for 3 years.

“The organisations that meet them have to demonstrate they are independent, community-based and work from a trauma-informed perspective to provide confidential, specialist services to victims and survivors of all forms of sexual violence and abuse. RCNSS accreditation demonstrates quality and specialism in every aspect of a specialist Rape Crisis Centre’s service provision, including Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (ISVA) services, emotional support and therapeutic services” [1]


You can find out more about the RCEW National Service Standards here.

Elaine, Nicky (CEO) and Barbara from ARCH with our NSS Certificate.

[1] RCEW Website

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ARCH Newsletter Feb 2020

As part of Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2020 , ARCH were proud to launch our brand new Newsletter aimed at local professionals in Teesside.

We were visited by Cllr Mieka Smiles, Executive Member for Culture and Communities at Middlesbrough Council to mark the occasion. Our newsletter is aimed at professionals in the #Teesside area, and aims to raise awareness of sexual violence and the specialist support services we offer. You can download it by clicking the link below.

“It was lovely to come find out more about ARCH North East and the amazing work they do supporting people who have been affected by sexual violence in Teesside. This service can be a life-line for vulnerable people- I’m really pleased to support ARCH in launching their new Newsletter to mark the start of Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2020.”

Cllr Smiles

Download below.

If you’re a professional in Teesside and would like to be added to our mailing list in order to receive future newsletters, contact project21@archnortheast.org with details.

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Browsealoud – Accessibility Tool

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve added speech, reading and translation support to our website with Browsealoud.

This innovative tool from Texthelp helps the millions of people out there who struggle to access and understand information online.  In the UK, over 12 million people have print disabilities such as dyslexia, low literacy, mild visual impairment and over 8 million people were born abroad so speak English as a second language.

Browsealoud works by reading our website content out loud in a really natural sounding voice.  It can translate our web pages into 99 languages and read the content aloud in 40 of the most commonly spoken languages in the world.

Try it out!  Can you see the orange launchpad on your screen?  It looks like this:

Click it to launch the Browsealoud toolbar. All you do is hover your mouse over any text to hear it read aloud.  From a touchscreen device you’ll have to click on the text to hear it.

Now, check out the translation feature – Browsealoud can translate our website into 99 languages and read 40 of the most commonly spoken languages out loud.  

There are so many other ways that Browsealoud delivers our web content that it really makes our website much more accessible and usable by everyone.  This addition to our website reflects our commitment to accessibility and inclusion; our aim is inclusion for all.

For more information on Browsealoud, check out the videos below.  Alternatively, contact info@browsealoud.com.  

Introducing Browsealoud

Browsealoud Features

If you’d like to provide feedback on Browsealoud, the team at Texthelp would love to hear from you.  Complete their one question survey.

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ARCH CEO Nicky Harkin- Teesside Gazette Column 22/02/20

Nicky Harkin, Chief Executive of ARCH North East talks about Sexual Violence Awareness Week in this week’s Teesside Gazette. Guest column in partnership with My Sisters Place.

Firstly, a thank you to My Sisters Place for sharing this platform with us to reflect on this year’s sexual violence awareness week. A national campaign using #itsnotok the week is designed to shine light on conversations around rape and sexual violence bringing them out of the shadows, where they so often lurk and into the spotlight.

At ARCH we used the opportunity to make ourselves visible, letting people know about our service and how they can access free and confidential support, no matter their age, gender or when the experience took place. This year we turned fountains green, spoke on local radio, held stalls, delivered training and generally got ourselves and our message out across Teesside.

At a time when we are seemingly more aware than ever about these crimes thanks to increased media coverage, high profile cases and campaigns, that garner the support of many A-list celebs, you could ask why bother?

Well, in a nutshell because despite all of this more still needs to be done to understand the scale of the issue and let people know that it is ok to ask for help. Nationally 1 in 5 women and 4% of men since the age of 16 are estimated to have experienced some form of sexual abuse. On Teesside this equates to around 45,587 people without taking account of levels of childhood sexual abuse, simply staggering!

Not everyone will want to report to the police, not everyone will want something doing about their experience, we understand this. We also know that unless you or someone you know has been affected it can be hard to comprehend the impact and the harm that rape and sexual abuse causes. Shame plays its part, blame joins in and misplaced feelings of guilt can add to that toxic mix. Speaking out, sharing the burden can be one of the most important first steps to turning the shame into self-esteem, blame into acceptance and putting the guilt firmly where it belongs, with the perpetrator. That’s why awareness is so important and that’s why we will continue to be here year-round when people are ready to talk to us, with a clear promise to listen, to believe and to care. 

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ARCH ISVA Team Award Shortlist- LimeLight 2020

We are so pleased to announce that our brilliant ISVA Team have been shortlisted for the  ISVA Team/Service Innovation Award 2020 by LimeCulture.

This award looks to recognise UK-based ISVA teams or services of all sizes and sectors who are leading the way in the provision of ISVA services. This LimeLight award seeks to reward an ISVA team or service that has made a significant contribution to supporting their clients.

It’s fantastic to see our teams hard work and dedication to supporting survivors be recognised nationally!

We have been nominated alongisde St Mary’s SARC and Amethyst SARC… Well done and good luck to all the other nominees!

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Board of Trustees – Join the team!

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24 Mar 2020

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