Bury St Edmunds campaign group raises funds for rape charity

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The Bury St Edmunds Fawcett Society hosted a fund-raiser on Saturday as part of its campaign to raise awareness of issues facing women.

Its comedy night at the Hunter Club, which featured Bury-born comedian Kate Smurthwaite, raised almost £200 for Suffolk Rape Crisis.

Eleanor Rehahn, of Bury Fawcett Society, said: “We were really privileged to have such a high-profile comedian as Kate Smurthwaite give her support to the night. Along with Erica Dupuy and Kirsty Hudson, she provided an excellent night of comedy in aid of a very good cause.

“The night raised £178 for Suffolk Rape Crisis to help them continue their vital outreach work in Bury and to raise awareness of the need for their service throughout Suffolk.”

Suffolk Rape Crisis provides a confidential helpline, support, information and counselling service to women and girls across Suffolk who are survivors of rape and sexual violence.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “In March 2013 we opened our face-to-face counselling service in Ipswich, swiftly followed by our outreach counselling service which currently operates one day a week in Bury. Because of its central location, Bury is easily accessible for women from the west and the north of Suffolk, and so we are able to offer a service for women from the surrounding towns and villages as well as from Bury itself.

“No one else in the area was doing this work and in less than six months of delivering our outreach service in Bury, we already have a waiting list for counselling. We have supported nine women and currently offer weekly counselling to five women and regular phone support to another.

“As yet, we haven’t focused on promoting our counselling service in Bury but we anticipate that when we do, the demand will be considerable. We now need additional funds so that we can expand our services, to meet the actual needs of women and girls across Suffolk.”

The Bury Fawcett Society’s next event will be a ‘women in democracy’ networking event. It will take place in the upstairs bar at Benson Blakes, in St John’s Street, Bury, at 7.30pm on November 22.

Ms Rehahn said: “The event will coincide with UK Parliament Week, an annual event that celebrates and encourages democracy in the UK.

“The core theme of this year’s Parliament Week is ‘women in democracy’ and to reflect this, we intend to pave the way for women in positions of power to support other women into positions of power through the sharing of information and experience.”

For more details, email burystedmundsfawcett@gmail.com