2142. Lisa Thompson
Lisa Thompson, from Birmingham, set up a social enterprise to provide counselling for individuals who have experienced sexual violence and abuse after finding out her grandmother Gina was raped as a teenager and kept this a secret for 70 years.
Using her 27 years of experience in supporting individuals subjected to sexual violence and abuse, Lisa Thompson founded ‘GINA’ in 2014. Lisa’s grandmother is the reason she is so passionate about her work, with ‘GINA’ established to leave a positive legacy for Nana Gina and others like her, to create a world where no one feels unable to speak out about sexual violence and abuse.
Led by individuals with lived experience, ‘GINA’ provides immediate in-person, telephone and online specialist counselling, bespoke products and resources for survivors of sexual violence and abuse. Ever since establishment, ‘GINA’ centres individuals with lived experience of sexual violence and abuse at all levels in the organisation, continuing to ensure that all services, products and resources are co-produced with survivors. Alongside counselling, product and resource provision, ‘GINA’ hosts a podcast series, blog, magazine, bespoke online support hubs and volunteering and fundraising opportunities. Working in strong partnerships with non-profit organisations, businesses and educational institutions in the Birmingham community, ‘GINA’ provides a tailored support offering and continues to raise awareness of sexual violence and abuse.
As a social enterprise, ‘GINA’ surplus is re-invested to continue supporting survivors and is donated to GINA’s sister organisation, the Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP), where Lisa is also the Chief Executive, to help fund free specialist sexual abuse support services for individuals in the community.
“It is an honour to receive this award on behalf of ‘GINA’ in recognition of our dedication to supporting individuals subjected to sexual violence and abuse. Affectionately named after my Nana Gina and in support of her legacy, our compassionate, safe and connected space has continued to offer immediate specialist support that is tailored to meet the needs of individuals across our Birmingham community and beyond. We will continue our unique offering as a private specialist rape crisis organisation & continue our commitment to ensure all individuals subjected to sexual violence and abuse are heard, understood and believed.”
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