“Obviously I was a nervous wreck. But the whole place from entering the building made me feel very welcome. My thoughts were going a hundred miles an hour in my head, but I was made to feel at ease. Once I started going I felt I was listened to. I was working through my issues, working out what was in my head, talking it out.” – Client
It takes enormous courage to take the first step and seek help. So, when people do reach out we do our best to ensure the process – from first contact to completing counselling – is as smooth and welcoming as possible. Details matter. We don’t keep long waiting lists, so we don’t leave clients in limbo. 93% of clients are assessed within 7 days of referral, with over a third assessed within 2 days.
“(The Service Manager) was great, friendly, down-to-earth and supportive. As the first person I’d ever talked to about it. It was great. I came away feeling like it would be okay to talk about it.” – Client
First Step is inspired by an ethical vision and commitment to achieve positive outcomes for its service uses. Underpinned by core values that reflect the organisation’s culture and ethos, these guiding principles set out why the charity exists, how it operates and what makes it unique.
Stand alongside our clients, listening patiently and carefully to their stories, understand their challenges and help to address their needs.
“The support and care is there for the volunteers. I really felt nurtured and held. Having that feeling means I can do the same for somebody else” – First Step volunteer counsellor
Provide quality services in a safe and secure environment, be respectful and maintain the highest levels of integrity at all times.
“Respecting everyone’s humanity, without naïveté. It’s not being everyone’s best mate, but respect and kindness. There’s great respect for each person, clients and volunteers. Clients really value that. You are not a client you’re a person.” – First Step service user
Inspire clients that life can improve, help build self-esteem and provide opportunities for them to take control of their lives and move forward.
“I now understand the effect things which happened to me in my childhood has had on my adult life. In understanding that those things were not my fault, I have come to feel more empowered in taking control of my own destiny.” – First Step service user
Listen to each other, recognising each other’s strengths and weaknesses, supporting and developing colleagues.
“The Service puts the client at the centre, and I am always blown away by their standard of service, professionalism and care.” – First Step referral partner
Never judge a person or their actions but support the individual, being open and honest in all our dealings.
“At First Step it’s programmed into the DNA to be understanding and accepting. Right off the bat I felt like I was with people who wanted to help me. I’ve never experienced that before”. – First Step service user
Overcome barriers and embrace differences among clients and colleagues, building trust and confidence that will enhance our services.
“I felt sick when I made the appointment and almost expected rejection. I am a man now but the abuse happened when I was a girl aged eight. I expected it to feel awkward to explain but she never flinched at anything I said. It was so calm and suddenly I was just me. I knew I could do it with First Step’s help.” – First Step service user
The Vision describes the future state First Step aspires to realise:
A society where male survivors of sexual abuse feel safe to share their experiences and are supported to move their lives forward
The Mission describes First Step’s overall purpose that will support the realisation of its Vision:
To empower men to move forward from the negative impact sexual abuse has had on their lives
The Aims set out the goals First Step will achieve in order to deliver its Mission:
- Provide a safe and welcoming space that continues to meet organisational needs
- Provide practical support, emotional support and specialised counselling
- Maintain long term financial and operational sustainability
The Objectives describe the activities First Step will undertake to meet its Aims:
- Embed Advocacy Service – trial new approaches to raise awareness of Advocacy Support & integrate into the Support Pathway.
- Implement capacity management system – develop a strategy and implement to streamline engagement from initial point of contact to assessment and first session offered.
- Launch services for young people – identify, develop, implement, and promote services for young people.
- Deliver self-help support – extend current provision of peer group activities; launch support group for supporters.
- Develop social media profile – implement website management and update process to ensure currency of information; identify new ways to promote.
- Achieve sustainability – develop three year forecast, identify funding gaps, impact assessment and contingencies; implement strategy to secure required funding.
Workstreams & Tasks
The Objectives are underpinned by defined Workstreams and separate Tasks with assigned ownership, quantified deliverable(s), measurable key performance indicator(s) (KPI), defined criteria for success.