Lord Mayor of Manchester joins St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre to mark 30 years of service
A year long programme of activities marking the 30th
anniversary of the establishment of the St Mary's Sexual Assault
Referral Centre (SARC) was unveiled at a launch event last
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Paul Murphy OBE, will
welcome guests to the evening reception that will provide St Mary's
SARC with an opportunity to reflect on the purpose and foundation
of the SARC service, review its service today and share its vision
for the future.
Clinical Director of St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre,
Dr Catherine White, said: "We are not only marking 30 years since
our entire service started but we are also marking 10 years since
the establishment of our child service.
"Over the past 30 years, St Mary's SARC has travelled a
significant journey in developing our services for people reporting
rape or sexual assault. Today, we see more than 1600 people
each year and just under half of those are children and our service
is the busiest of its kind in the UK.
"St Mary's SARC has always, and continues to, drive up standards
in the quality of care provided to its clients. It has worked
with national policy and decision makers to ensure that the voice
of clients are heard and it has sought to raise standards across
the UK and internationally through comprehensive training and
awareness programmes, research, contribution to national steering
groups and by building relationships with key influencers."
The anniversary year dubbed '30:10' will
provide St Mary's SARC with the opportunity to host a year-long
programme of events that will aim to:
- Celebrate St Mary's SARC achievements and mark the progress of
services provided to people who have been raped or sexually
- Create greater awareness of St Mary's SARC and its
- Thank staff both past and present for their achievements and
Invited speakers at the launch event include documentary film
maker, Roger Graef, of Films of Record who will show clips and
speak about the production of his BAFTA award winning series
'Police' which was first broadcast on the BBC in the early
1980s. A three part series, the second film, 'A complaint of
rape' raised questions in the Houses of Parliament on the
investigation techniques used by the Police officers
filmed. In addition, Blue Ryan and Sara Hardy,
documentary producers from Goldstar Productions will show clips and
talk about their BAFTA nominated documentary about the work of the
St Mary's Centre which was first broadcast on BBC1 in 2013.
The evening will launch a number of events planned for the year
which will include a partnership with The Whitworth, led by
emerging artist Helen Newman who is part of the Whitworth Young
Contemporaries, a young peoples' group for those aged 15-25.
As part of this project, St Mary's SARC support clients will be
invited to contribute an individual piece of art that will
contribute to one major piece of art that will be installed at the
Centre upon completion in the summer of 2016.
Manchester University Chancellor and well-known Manchester Poet,
Lemn Sissay will be hosting a masterclass for St Mary's SARC
clients in June 2016 that will encourage them to explore how poetry
can help them find ways of coping with their experience. In
addition, the St Mary's SARC Annual Conference on the subject of
Sexual Assault and Children will take place on April
21st and 22nd at the Midland Hotel and a
formal anniversary dinner will take place in November.
Dr Catherine White continued: "We hope to build on and develop
our services further in the future so that people who have been
raped or sexually assaulted can receive the highest standards and
quality of care."
Notes to Editors
St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre was the first Sexual
Assault Referral Centre to open in the UK. It provides a
comprehensive and co-ordinated forensic, medical, counselling and
aftercare service to men, women and children living in Greater
Manchester or Cheshire who have experienced rape or sexual
assault, whether this has happened recently or in the past.