First Step Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland
Supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, and their loved ones


Testimonials Feedback from past and present clients

Here at First Step, we take our clients experiences and feelings very seriously, here are some of our testimonials from past and present clients.

When I first came to First Step for an assessment I was advised that the work would be very much at my own pace.  This was important to me, I didn’t want to feel that I was being pushed into talking about things that I wasn’t ready to discuss.  If that had happened I would have walked away.


Within a few weeks I had built up a comfortable relationship with my counsellor and rather then focus on the abuse we looked at my anxiety and helping me return to a normal lifestyle.


I can honestly say that my life has changed so much for the better.  Even the relationships with people around me have improved.


If you are considering using the service I would guarantee that as long as you put the effort in, they will do their best to work with you and help things make sense!


First Step without question saved my life and marriage. I am now alive and free to exist in peace and with confidence.

When asked the question “are there any other services you think First Step could offer?” he replied:

“I don’t think anything could realistically be improved. My expectations were very much exceeded”.


The staff were amazing, so patient, so understanding, and this may sound strange but so ‘human’. I’ve been to other counselling outlets and it can be very subdued and impersonal. With First Step it was completely the opposite.


Without this service I would still be the same person as I was before. Now I am a change person. So without the service would I be here or not? Yes I am. First Step made me a better person and strong person. He was a great listener. Would like to thank you all for your help. Missing your tea!


Welcoming with friendliness and good facilities. Relaxed atmosphere. …… To be listened to, not judged. Help with formative and positive thinking in this peaceful, supportive way – perfect!


First time I was listened to and felt comfortable talking about the abuse I received as a child


I have been listened to, supported and above all believed which has made my reluctance to open up much easier.


To have a safe, non judgemental environment to explore painful experiences but you always feel better. The more you talk the more you feel in control.


I would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to First Step…….for the help and support given to me over the past few months. You have helped to give me back my life, and for that I shall always be very grateful.


I thought I would struggle to find an appointment to fit with my work but they sorted it no problem.


They were all very helpful and very understanding. Would not hesitate to recommend them to others.


Helped me to look at things differently. Don’t blame myself for what happened. Someone to talk to as never spoke about it before. Feel better when leave session. Still trying to feel good about myself but getting there.


I didn’t want to go without letting you know how much I’ve valued your time and energy and to let you know how much this has meant to me, and how grateful I am to you and everyone involved with First Step.

It’s hard to put into words the difference working with you, my time with my counsellor and the support of the project has made to me cannot be overstated.

Contacting the project was a big step for me and was complicated due to my personal circumstances but I wanted to thank you for taking my referral and letting me join the service, and the warm welcome, excellent referral and on-going support while I’ve been a client.

I am also indebted to my counsellor, who has been excellent in working with me and whose warmth, support and guidance has been instrumental in helping me through a very difficult and painful episode in my life.

I also wanted to let everyone else involved in First Step (and especially its funders) know how thankful I am that it exists, how excellent it is and how effective it has been for me and how hopeful I am that it will continue to offer this service in the future to other men in similar positions.

I have to say without this service being available, and free at the point of delivery, my opportunities to access this sort of help would have been extremely limited and that the outcomes for me would have been very bleak.

The service has helped me through a very difficult time, for me personally and its support with my mental health and wellbeing has been amazing. It is no exaggeration that without it things could have been very different for me. While I struggled with my experiences on my own for many years with limited success, immense work and personal pressure led me to a total collapse in which I could have lost my family and my job and my financial security, further entrenching my problems with difficult if not tragic circumstances.

Facing up to my past life and seeking counselling has helped me gain new perspective on myself, my life, and my experiences; help me engage and make strong, healthy relationships with my partner and friends as well as distancing myself from negative situations and abusive family members, as well as confidence to continue with my studies and move out of an abusive situation at work into a new and much more positive direction.

I would be very happy if you were able to pass this message of thanks on to everyone involved with the service to record my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to its funders and supporters, and share how vital this service has been in helping me through this most devastating of times.

You’re all amazing!!

Thank you.

Previous Client

Although sometimes the journey may seem hard, and painful to travel. Stick with it.

Sometimes, you may stumble and fall, but that’s alright. First Step will be there to offer a hand, to help you up, and get back on track.

Sometimes, it will seem too dark to venture further, but your counsellor will be there with a candle, to light your path.

It’s alright to stop along the way, and re-evaluate your path, sometimes changing direction, to reach the end of your journey.

Remember that time is not an issue, as people walk at different paces, but if you give yourself enough time, you will reach your goal.

It is not unreachable, it just takes a little effort.

You just need to take your ‘first steps’ to begin your journey, and it’s never too late to start.

51 year old service user