Dec 132013

howwesupportWith thanks to Kathryn Russell.

Rape and Abuse Support (RAS) are delighted to accept a generous donation of £1,000 from the Fine Piece Community Cafe based in Sheddocksley Baptist Church, which marks its 5th Anniversary on Friday 13th December.

The Fine Peace Community Cafe launched almost five years ago and this year won an Aberdeen Impact Award for Best Emerging Social Enterprise.

Supported by 30 volunteers, the Cafe has established a reputation for providing good food and good service.

To mark their 5th Anniversary, the Cafe will make a series of donations to local community groups and schools as recognition of the good work being carried out locally.

Rape and Abuse Support provides support for anyone who has experienced rape, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation at any point in their life, as well as working within the community to develop awareness of the issues surround rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

Lorraine Dobson, Volunteer Co-ordinator at RAS says:

“We are delighted to accept such a generous donation from the Fine Piece Community Cafe.

“It is always uplifting to have the hard work of our staff and volunteers recognised and the donation will allow us to progress with plans to develop the service we provide.”

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Nov 092012

With funding cuts currently affecting services to the vulnerable everywhere, many vital services like Rape And Abuse Support (RAS) are increasingly dependent on donations from local businesses and the public simply to survive on a day to day basis. With thanks to Kathryn Russell.

RAS (Rape and Abuse Support) provides support and advocacy to female survivors of sexual violence, whether recent or historical, as well as challenging public attitudes towards rape through outreach work.

The good news is that on Wednesday 7th November, RAS were delighted to receive a donation of £3,000 from Oceaneering.

Following a cut in their funding, they have been actively fundraising to ensure the future of the service and this donation will go some way to help meet the shortfall.

Volunteer Support Worker Gaynor Cowie accepted the cheque on behalf of RAS and spoke about her experience as a volunteer:

“I am often asked for my views on rape and sexual abuse when people discover that I volunteer with RAS but here my views don’t matter. What I and the other volunteers do at the centre is not about us. It is all about the women who come to us. If you’re struggling to make it through each day – if you feel overwhelmed, sad and alone and perhaps unable to share those feelings with those closest to you – the centre offers the opportunity to share those feelings.  

“The centre operates with only two paid employees and the fact that the rest of the work is undertaken by volunteers is a testament to everyone’s commitment to maintain this service within the City of Aberdeen.

“It can take a very long time to establish a reputation as a provider of quality services and it would be a great pity if the city was to lose this service at a point when it is recognised the work it does is so very much needed.”

Although they still require donations, those received so far from local businesses and the public have ensured the future of the RAS centres in Aberdeen and Fraserburgh are secure for the immediate future.

To donate to the cause, please visit

Oct 182012

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly. Photography by Alan Jamieson. 

The Scottish Government reduced its funding to Rape and Abuse Support by 50%; this has gone largely unnoticed.  Sadly, one in every four women statistically experience some form of sexual abuse (including violent attacks and rape) in their lifetime.  Education and awareness are the answer, allowing the subject to remain taboo is the status quo – and the problem.

Stalking, human trafficking, spousal abuse are all problems we know exist in the North East of Scotland, yet there are few support services, which makes the work of RAS all the more important.

Aberdeen’s RAS premises and staff offer a safe, secure comfortable haven for people who have experienced sexual violence and rape.  They have not met their entire financial shortfall yet, but Nexen Petroleum Ltd. has stepped in with a timely, generous donation.

Many large companies of course make financial contributions to charity.  In the world of corporate giving, some charities are more ‘popular’ than others, and helping victims of rape sadly has historically not been a great draw of corporate money.  Nexen is to be complimented on its generosity to this important local group.

Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd. made a donation of £6,000 to RAS (Rape and Abuse Support) who provide services for survivors of sexual violence in the North East.

Earlier this year RAS launched its Just Giving campaign in order to supplement a funding shortfall and it has been thrilled with the response from local businesses and the public.

Volunteer Co-ordinator and Outreach Support Worker Shannon Milne said:

“We have been so pleased by the level of support we have received. The most recent donation of £6,000 from Nexen recognises the importance of the service we provide.”

“At Nexen, giving back to the communities where we operate is deeply rooted in our values. Supporting RAS and other local volunteer organisations through engagement with employee volunteering and financial support is at the heart of social responsibility,” said Colin Taylor, Field Manager of Nexen’s Golden Eagle development.

“RAS is an essential part of our community and we are proud to support them.”

Nexen’s total contribution of £6,000 reflects a £5,000 corporate donation and a £1,000 grant through the company’s employee volunteer program to support the contributions of Jane McTavish, an employee of Nexen who volunteers her time as an RAS Director.

Mrs McTavish stated:

“Nexen takes their social corporate responsibility seriously and encourages their employees to volunteer in their communities. Rewards such as this are a great incentive and I am pleased that my employer, Nexen, recognises my commitment to RAS in this way.”

RAS is currently the only organisation in the North East offering support and advocacy to female survivors of sexual violence, whether recent or historical. They are also involved in prevention and outreach work which the donation from Nexen will help support.