Northamptonshire business women join forces to help rape crisis charity as demand for counselling increases

Eating and shopping experience at Beckworth Emporium and a signed Northampton Saints shirt up for grabs

By Carly Odell
Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:10 am

A group of Northamptonshire business women have joined forces to raise money to support the county’s rape crisis charity.

In March, the team of 16 entrepreneurs raised £1,400 for Northamptonshire Rape Crisis by releasing a song called ‘I Am Woman’ as part of International Women’s Day.

Although the fundraiser was successful, the group wanted to raise £2,000 so has now launched an online auction.

The 16 women taking part are: Ann Brebner - Workplace Solutions, Mhairi Richardson - Tomrom Team Coaching, Louise Gorden - Louise Gordon Consultancy Ltd, Hannah Brady - The Brady Creative, Ika Castka - Wilson Browne Solicitors, Dawn Giraldi - Pegasus Lift Truck Training Ltd, Kerry Bates - Polka Dot Events Management, Shannon Howe - I Cook You Serve, Emma Devereux - Maintech Recruitment, Lorraine Lewis - The Lewis Foundation, Ola Sulaimon - Ronzl Accountants Ltd, Rupinder Drew - Business Enterprise Manager, Hien Phung - Villa Blake Hotel, Vietnam, Sheila Smith - Expo Queen, Carley Fountain - Castle Climate Control Ltd, Dawn Thomas - Northamptonshire Rape Crisis.

The auction house has lots for a variety of experiences and products, including a photoshoot, a lunch and shopping experience at Beckworth Emporium and a signed Northampton Saints shirt.

More than £1,000 has already been raised by the auction despite it only launching last week, which is a response the group ‘never dreamed of’.

Now the team wants to make it ‘bigger and better’ and get more businesses involved to enable them to offer more support to the rape crisis centre as the need for counselling increases significantly.

Julia Harris, another businesswoman who is helping to organise the auction, said: “What we want to do now is ask if any local businesses would like to donate something to the auction in exchange for some publicity and limelight.

“We understand it’s not an easy time for businesses so anything will be appreciated. It could be a service or experience.

“We have done so well in the first week raising more than £1,000.

“We now want to make the auction bigger and better.”

Northamptonshire Rape Crisis offers confidential counselling and support to anyone who has been subject to abuse of a sexual nature.

During the pandemic the charity had to move its services online and has helped people who have suffered through the lockdowns, trauma and low level mental health.

The charity began with five online counselling rooms, but are now up to 31 as demand has increased.

Julia added: “They’re a group of women so it’s close to their hearts and the charity has said it is hard to fundraise as it is a difficult subject to talk about.

“The charity is trying to get back to face to face counselling after months online but costs have gone up, so these women want to help support the services.

“It also helps to raise awareness and this is something that needs to be out there more.

“People often don’t want to talk about it but if they know there is somewhere to go to talk one to one, it could help them in the long term.

“And the charity has said the fundraising is great but raising awareness is as important.”

The team is aiming to end the auction on June 26, hopefully with a live event of some sort.

Visit the auction website to place a bid.

Email Julia on: [email protected] to offer a product or experience to add to the auction.