A confidential service for survivors of childhood abuse

A confidential service for survivors of childhood abuse

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News and Events

Welcome to the Open Secret News and Events blog.

E-Newsletter launch!

We are delighted to share with you our first EVER E-News from Open Secret. For the next six months we are going to pilot the use of the E-News to share information with everyone who is interested in the work we do. We hope you enjoy reading the articles and finding out more about what our team has been up to and exciting things ahead.

You can sign up to receive future editions of the newsletter with this signup form, the Newsletter tab on our Facebook page, or through the signup form on our website which will be available soon.

If you have any feedback or would like to contribute to future editions of our E-News please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally we would ask you to share this as widely as possible so we can reach out to as many survivors and their families that we can across Scotland.

Read our July edition of the newsletter here.

Firewalk a Blazing Success

Open Secret blazed a trail by holding its first ever Sponsored Firewalk on the evening of Thursday 31st March, raising £4,500 in aid of vital services for survivors of childhood trauma and abuse.

A member of the Blaze Firewalking staff team lighting the fire while participants look on.

21 participants braved 20 feet of hot coals of 1236 degrees Fahrenheit to raise sponsorship money, cheered on by friends and family. One participant said: “it was such a powerful experience, the feeling of achievement when you step off those coals and how totally empowered you feel for hours afterwards... I felt like I could've taken on the world!”

Chief Executive Janine Rennie said: “We are so grateful to the many staff, volunteers and abuse survivors who were brave enough to walk over hot coals to help survivors of abuse and this wonderful fundraising effort will enable us to help a large number of survivors and assist us in continuing our campaigning work.”

Open Secret would like to thank Falkirk Carpets for supporting the event through the use of their premises. 

For more information please contact Traci Kirkland by telephone on 01324 679 055, or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

ENDS

Information

  • Open Secret is a community-based organisation and registered Scottish charity No. SC024065 providing confidential support to individuals and families affected by childhood abuse and trauma for over 22 years, with services available across Forth Valley.
  • The event was organised by Blaze Firewalking on behalf of Open Secret. Please visit www.blazefirewalking.com for more details.
  • Photo included was taken at the firewalk event, and features a member of the Blaze Firewalking staff team lighting the fire while participants look on.

Sponsored walk raises over £3000 for abuse survivors' charity

Open Secret would like to extend a huge thanks to Amanda Louise Brown and her team of friends and family, who have raised over £3,000 for the childhood trauma charity by organising a sponsored walk.

The team of Amanda, her mother Sara, and friends Lauren, Kirsteen, Wendy, and Jeanette all walked 20 miles from Stirling Castle to the Falkirk Wheel on Sunday 5th June 2016 to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

The team who took on the walk. From left to right: Lauren, Sara, Jeanette, Amanda, Kirsteen and Wendy.

Speaking on why the team chose to do the walk, Amanda said: “I had chosen to raise money for Open Secret as a survivor of child abuse myself this organisation don't get enough credit for their services. They have helped not just me but my family cope with the aftermath that abuse in a family causes and if it wasn't for them things could have been a lot different today.”

The walk was a huge success, with the group raising £3020.88 and smashing their goal of £2000, and over 70 people have donated to the team’s JustGiving page as of this writing.

Chief executive Janine Rennie said: “we are so grateful to Amanda and her team for taking forward this fundraising initiative. Funds are so important to ensure the ongoing survival of Open Secret, enabling us to offer support and help to survivors of abuse.”

For more information please contact Traci Kirkland by telephone on 01324 679 055, or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ENDS

Information

  • Open Secret is a registered Scottish charity No. SC024065 providing confidential support to individuals and families affected by childhood abuse and trauma for over 22 years, with services available across Forth Valley.
  • Included photograph was taken at the start of the walk at Stirling Castle. From left to right: Lauren, Sara, Jeanette, Amanda, Kirsteen and Wendy.
  • The sponsored walk raised money using JustGiving, on the following page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Amanda-Brown28

Ben Shee Loop Hill Walk

Ben Shee Loop Hill Walk in aid of Open Secret
Sunday 31st July

Challenge yourself this summer by trekking through Scottish landscape and raise vital funds for a local charity at the same time!


In the safe hands of the Stirling Rambling Club, participants will embark on their hill climb starting from Glensherup, travelling through the gorgeous landscape around Ben Shee and ending in Lower Glendevon. Those who want an additional challenge will also get the chance to climb the Ben Shee summit along the way! This is a beautiful walk on good tracks with a slow, gradual climb.

Participants will take on a 6-mile route taking approximately 4 hours to complete. Registration is free for all participants, and we ask that trekkers aim to raise £100 for Open Secret, which will provide four hours of free counselling to a survivor of childhood trauma.

Go on - get sponsored and give it a go!

SIGN UP
Please register for the event using our online form, or by contacting our main office on 01324 630 100.

hillwalk 2016 A4 poster

KEY INFORMATION
Date: Sunday 31st July 2016

Time: Registration from 9:45am, with the group leaving at 10:30am sharp.

The meeting point for participants will be at Glensherup Car Park at 10am. Full directions including a map will be sent out closer to the event date.

FURTHER INFORMATION
A full kit list and any other relevant information will be sent nearer the event date. Please contact Rhys Stenhouse with any questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01324 630 100.

Open Secret election hustings a success

The team at Open Secret was thrilled to see a positive response to our first ever election hustings, which took place on Thursday 21st April at the Falkirk Trinity Church.

The event, titled “What Can Scotland Do for Survivors?” saw panellists discussing a range of questions sourced from survivors of childhood trauma and abuse and the professionals who work with those survivors.

The panel was made up of candidates for the upcoming Scottish Parliament election, including representatives for the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and one independent candidate.

The panellists were well-received by a lively audience who had plenty of questions – and even some contributions of their own!

Callum Laidlaw, Scottish Conservatives: “Open Secret is charity that does fantastic work not just in Falkirk but across Scotland, helping survivors of some of the most harrowing abuse. I was delighted to support their first ever hustings and was pleased to find my fellow political participants working together to develop consensus and was humbled by the contributions from the audience. Tackling child sexual abuse and its consequences is something that requires greater awareness and secure funding something I would do my best to support if elected.”

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour: “It was a privilege to take part in the hustings. Although I was there to answer the questions I learned a lot too by listening to survivors and those who support the work of Open Secret. The Scottish Parliament must give higher priority to survivors in the next term and I'm committed to working alongside groups like Open Secret to push for this if I am elected. There is a real concern that continued austerity will make this work harder; that's why Scottish Labour will use the powers of the parliament to invest in communities and public services.”

Eileen Baxendale, Scottish Liberal Democrats: “Thank you for hosting the Open Secret hustings in Falkirk. I agree with your view that it is important for politicians to hear the voice of abuse survivors. I hope this voice will be remembered in the next Scottish Parliament and that our society can provide good support for present survivors and protect others from abuse.”

Angus MacDonald, Scottish National Party: “I was delighted to take part in the Open Secret hustings last week. A number of salient points were raised which will require action by the new Government, not least the issue of ensuring funding for the In Care Survivors Service Scotland (ICSSS), provided by locally based charity Open Secret. It was clear from the feelings expressed at the hustings that this issue has to be looked at again by the incoming Government. If re-elected on Thursday I look forward to continuing to work with Open Secret to help move the service forward.”

Deryck Beaumont, independent: “I do not have experience of dealing with recovery of Childhood Abuse Survivors but I have had experience of what it means and how it impacts lives for the survivor, their families and even their abusers. In preparing for this evening I came across a quote on the Open Secret website that 1 in 4 children suffer serious maltreatment in childhood. This for me was a shocking revelation – shocking not just for the suffering during childhood, but for the effect on the rest of their lives. The impact can be catastrophic unless and until dealt with and recovered from. Real needs needed to be addressed on a real approach that deals with each and every case in a holistic fashion on a case by case basis.”

Open Secret would like to thank all of the panellists for their participation, and Dr Sarah Nelson for her role as moderator of the panel.

ENDS

Information

  • Open Secret is a community-based organisation and registered Scottish charity No. SC024065 providing confidential support to individuals and families affected by childhood abuse and trauma for over 22 years, with services available across Forth Valley.
  • Parties invited to participate at the hustings include (in alphabetical order): RISE, Scottish Christian Party, Scottish Conservative Party, Scottish Green Party, Scottish Labour Party, Scottish Liberal Democrat party, Scottish National Party, Solidarity, UK Independence Party, and independent Central list candidate Deryck Beaumont.
  • Scottish Green Party candidate Gary Dunion was also scheduled to attend as a panellist, but was unable to attend due to a medical emergency.

ELECTION CANDIDATES TO DEBATE QUESTIONS FROM ABUSE SURVIVORS

Open Secret is pleased to announce that we will be hosting our first ever hustings for the upcoming Scottish Parliament election on Thursday 21stApril.

The event, titled “What can Scotland Do for Survivors?”, will see candidates debating a range of questions sourced from survivors of childhood trauma and abuse and the professionals who work with those survivors, and will focus on how the Scottish government can help support survivors and reduce child abuse in Scotland.

This will be followed by an open floor questions and answers session, where members of the audience will be invited to quiz the candidates on a range of issues important to them.

The hustings will take place on Thursday 21stApril, and will be held at Falkirk Trinity Church in the Main Hall. Doors open at 7pm with debate running from 7.30pm – 9pm.

Confirmed panellists include Monica Lennon from the Scottish Labour Party, Eileen Baxendale from the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party, and Angus MacDonald from the Scottish National Party; with more panellists to be announced shortly. The event will be chaired by University of Edinburgh’s Dr Sarah Nelson, who has written and presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues.

For more information please contact Traci Kirkland on by telephone on 01324 679 055, or by email onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ENDS

Information

  • Open Secret is a community-based organisation and registered Scottish charity No. SC024065 providing confidential support to individuals and families affected by childhood abuse and trauma for over 22 years, with services available across Forth Valley.
  • Parties invited to participate at the hustings include: Scottish Conservative Party, Scottish Green Party, Scottish Labour Party, Scottish Liberal Democrat party, Scottish National Party, UK Independence Party.
  • Dr Sarah Nelson, University of Edinburgh, has written and presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues. Her research includes the voices of young survivors, critiques of current child protection systems and community prevention, media representations of abuse cases, and adult survivors’ experiences of mental health services. She is a former Scottish Government and Scottish Parliamentary Adviser. Her newly published book is entitled ‘Tackling Child Sexual Abuse: Radical approaches to Prevention, Protection and Support’.

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Open Secret

98 Thornhill Road
Falkirk
FK2 7AB

01324 630 100