Domestic abuse charity to provide free therapy to victims on a low income

A South West London charity has received a cash boost to enable it to provide counselling sessions free of charge to vulnerable people on a low income who have been victims of childhood abuse.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder, is giving over £28,000 to the Aurora Foundation for People Abused in Childhood (Aurora) in Kingston. The funding will cover the costs of psychotherapy for low income clients for one year, for people who were abused as a child.

A recent crime survey (2018) for England and Wales indicates that 1 in 4 adults were abused in some way as a child.

Aurora is charity providing a counselling centre and therapeutic community which aims to improve the mental wellbeing of adult women and men who have experienced abuse in childhood. Its main activities include long term counselling and group activities to address the emotional and psychological problems experienced by victims of childhood abuse.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“We are living through unprecedented, difficult times, and it is vital we continue to provide support to London’s charities providing a key service to some of the most vulnerable people.

“This grant will enable victims of abuse to get the emotional and mental support they’ve needed for a long time, to deal with issues from their childhood. The funding will ensure people don’t have the added burden of financial stress to access such vital counselling.

“Now more than ever, the Trust has a crucial role to play in ensuring the sector stays strong and effective, particularly by helping the smaller charities such as Aurora.”

Nick Gauntlett, Chief Executive of the Aurora Foundation for People Abused in Childhood, said:

“Many adult victims of childhood abuse need therapeutic support to help them recover from their trauma but find it hard to get this help as there are so few services like Aurora specifically for them. It’s also hard for too many victims to get support as charities such as Aurora costs money to run them, and as core funding is so difficult to secure, we nearly always have to ask for contributions towards the cost of therapy. 

“Some victims just cannot afford to get the help they desperately need. We are incredibly grateful to the City Bridge Trust for the grant award.

Aurora was set up in 2006 by a lady called Susannah Faithfull to help people like herself who suffered sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse as a child. Aurora has a non-clinical approach to support by offering services from a peaceful, community-type setting in south west London.

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 8,000 grants totalling over £400 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


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Media Officer, City of London Corporation

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Notes to editors

Last week City Bridge Trust announced new emergency funding for 170 small charities in London to support them through Covid-19. It is giving grants of up to £15,000 to all of the small charities it currently supports. The money will go towards supporting the charities with running costs and to help organisations in replacing loss of income, supporting them now and in the months ahead before society begins to return to normality.

Last month, City Bridge Trust pledged £1 million to a new emergency support fund to help London’s community and voluntary organisations affected by the impact of the COVID-19. The funder joined the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and London Funders a network of investors of London’s civil society, to launch the new fund, with an initial £1 million provided by CBT and another £1 million from the Mayor of London. The emergency scheme, which will be coordinated by London Funders, will be available to charities facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of the coronavirus.

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK. 

About City Bridge Trust

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of Bridge House Estates, a Registered Charity, with its primary aim the maintenance and support of five Thames bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars and the Millennium footbridge.

City Bridge Trust was established in 1995 to make use of funds surplus to bridge requirements and provides grants totalling around £20m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of the Bridge House Estates.