Abuse survivors charity competes for Project of the Year crown

An East Kilbride charity which offers support to survivors of abuse, is appealing for votes in order to be crowned National Lottery Project of the Year.

Talk Now beat off stiff competition from more than 1500 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

There are 17 shortlisted finalists from across the UK, who will compete in a four-week public vote to be named the inaugural National Lottery Project of the Year. Winners will receive a £3000 cash prize for their project and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

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Talk Now was started almost a decade ago by Patricia Mair, who is both a survivor of childhood sexual abuse as well as a qualified counsellor. She felt gaps in existing services for those affected by abuse were letting people down and wanted to give survivors a place to turn for help.

Pre-pandemic, the charity was seeing around 130 people at their base. When Covid-19 hit, Talk Now decided to reach out to all survivors of trauma including domestic, physical, and emotional as well as sexual abuse, in childhood or the here and now.

Since lockdown, the charity now sees more than 330 clients. A National Lottery-funded programme called Life Link also provides support for those not ready for therapy.

Patricia Mair, founder of Talk Now, said: “It’s an honour to have been made a finalist in this year’s National Lottery Awards, especially after such a tough year.

“Traumatic abuse happens to anyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Our core ambition is to enable survivors to live their lives to the full and eliminate the debilitating impact of abuse.

“I’m so proud of all of the team involved in the project and the difference they make to people’s lives. To be recognised for our work is an honour and we really hope people will get behind us and give us their vote.”

Abuse survivors charity competes for Project of the Year crown
Charity Talk Now was awarded three years of £90,000 funding from the Lottery in 2019. Pictured are Nicola Kirk, Patricia Mair and Paul Mair

Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, added: “In these challenging times that we still find ourselves in, we see so many examples of inspirational work throughout our communities, driven by these very projects. It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that brilliant projects like these, are possible.

“Talk Now is doing some incredible work in their local community and they thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards Project of the Year 2021. With your support, they could be a winner.”

To vote for Talk Now, please go to /awards. Or simply use the Twitter hashtag #NLATalkNow. Voting runs until 5pm on October 4.

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