A Huntingdon charity which helps the victims of childhood abuse is launching an art therapy group for women.

While abuse cases have featured prominently in the news, START (Survivors Trauma and Abuse Recovery Trust) hopes to raise awareness that sexual abuse affects one in four girls and one in six boys.

Organised alongside art psychotherapist Natalie Tayte, pictured, of Artmind Therapy, the group will meet every Thursday morning for six months during term-time at the charity’s base in the High Street, and is expected to start in November.

A wide range of art activities will be on offer using materials such as paint, clay and collage.

Sessions will also involve discussion and reflection alongside group work where clients can explore and share feelings with those who may have had similar experiences.

Natalie Tayte said: “Hopefully it is going to give survivors a place to express themselves and their memories and possibly come to terms with some of the feelings that they have been left with.”

Carolyn Spring, director of START, added: “We are very excited to be bringing this group to Huntingdon. There is very little provision for survivors of abuse in this area and yet the
 need is huge.

“It’s been a year since the Jimmy Savile scandal hit the headlines and put child sexual abuse on the agenda but there has been no additional funding for voluntary services like ours from the Government.

“Fortunately, we have had the support of the Huntingdon Freemen’s Trust who have very generously given us a grant to run this group and make it available at no cost to survivors.”

INFORMATION: Sessions are free and will run from 9.30-11am at 83a, High Street. They are open to women aged 18-65 from the Huntingdon area and places will be limited to between eight and 10 women. No previous experience or particular skill is necessary. For more information, visit www.start-together.org.uk or www.artmindtherapy.co.uk.