Sexual abuse charity names East of England Co-op boss as new ambassador

Minnie Moll, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op, who has spoken for the first time o

Minnie Moll, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op, who has spoken for the first time of how she was abused in her childhood. She has now become an ambassador for the charity Fresh Start New Beginnings. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Fresh Start – New Beginnings has announced East of England Co-op joint chief executive Minnie Moll as their new ambassador.

The charity has helped more than 930 children who have suffered sexual abuse since it was established in October 2012, rebuilding their lives and giving the chance to look forward to the future.

However, founder Diana Porter – the winner of a Stars of Suffolk special recognition award earlier this month – says the organisation often finds it difficult to attract public fundraising and corporate sponsorship due to the distressing nature of their work.

To coincide with the announcement, Ms Moll bravely reveals how she fell victim to sexual abuse by a family friend when she was just eight years old.

She said she wanted to turn her traumatic childhood experiences into something positive – to help children who have faced abuse find happiness.

'Within the last two months something just changed for me,' she said.

'I had this light bulb moment to use this rock I have been carrying and turn it into rocket fuel. I thought if I can help the charity raise awareness, raise funds and help more children then I would.

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'It is a subject many people feel uncomfortable talking about, I know that. But it is a very positive charity.

'Fresh Start is exactly as the name suggests, it is giving children a fresh start, making them feel safe and happy again and able to look to the future. I want to be a voice for those who cannot speak up themselves.'

Mrs Porter, who originally launched the charity from a room at her home, said she was delighted to have Minnie on board.

'All of the children come here thinking it is their fault, having all the blame, the shame and the guilt,' she said.

'We need to change their thinking, to get in there and get the understanding it is not their fault. We want them to know there is life after sexual abuse. I am delighted to have Minnie as our ambassador, she will help improve the lives of so many children and give so much hope to parents.'

It costs the charity around £2,500 for each child to go through their counselling programme.

How you can help Fresh Starts – New Beginnings

Fresh Start – New Beginnings supports the victims of child sex abuse. In just five years, the charity has supported over 900 children in the county.

If any individuals, businesses or groups want to offer support, call Patsy Johnson-Cisse on 01473 705111.

Alternatively, the charity would love support to source the following items:

• A shed.

• Plastic storage boxes.

• Camping tables and chairs, three of each.

• Arts and crafts materials.

• Display boards.

• 22in or 24in monitors x 2.

• Ipads or similar tablets x 5 to use with girls groups,

• Volunteers, fundraising admin, events, friends groups.

If you are a child and need support, call Fresh Start on 01473 353355.

For adults, call Survivors in Transition on 01473 232499.