Falkirk’s Open Secret paised

Open Secret has been praised
Open Secret has been praised

Open Secret has picked up a national award for its continued commitment to helping victims of childhood trauma.

The vital Falkirk charity was named one of the winners of this year’s GSK Impact Awards at a ceremony in the Scottish Parliament last week and will receive £30,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as gaining access to important training, development and networking opportunities thanks to the King’s Fund.

Janine Rennie, Open Secret chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have won this very prestigious award. We feel we are creative and innovative in our work with survivors of abuse, offering them real and sustainable change.

“The award will enable us to develop further with the excellent training that is offered as part of the award.”

GSK is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies and is committed to improving the quality of human life. From hundreds of charities throughout the UK, GSK chose Open Secret because of its success in tackling challenging health issues.

GSK head of community investment Katie Pinnock said: “Open Secret’s work in prisons is particularly innovative, working with prison staff as well as survivors, and has helped deliver some real outcomes such as improved family relationships and a reduction in self-harm.

“They put the service user at the heart of their work and it shows with their achievements. They are a worthy winner.”

Research shows as many as one in four young adults have been severely maltreated as children and one in 20 suffered sexual abuse. Many survivors of abuse have long-term mental and physical health issues, including self harm, substance abuse and eating disorders.

Open Secret provides counselling and group support for all ages and worked with over 1000 survivors of abuse last year. The charity also provides support for prison staff working with women offenders, many of them survivors of abuse.

Falkirk MSP and public health minister Michael Matheson said: “Open Secret is doing immensely important work to allow people who have experienced abuse as children to start to bring the hurt and pain to an end.

“This is a group that is focused on the Forth Valley but whose work is being recognised much further afield.”

Visit www.opensecret.org for more information.