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Warwickshire County Council: Blue Sky Centre - Aspiration to Reality

Plans become progress for Coventry and Warwickshire’s new Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

Planning permission to build The Blue Sky Centre within the grounds at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton was granted last month. Work to erect the purpose built, single storey building will commence very shortly.

Permission was granted on the basis that the services of the centre - to support victims of sexual assault - will be of benefit to the community. The new facility will be in keeping with other structures on the site and will have features to ensure privacy for the centre’s users such as, obscured glazing, secure external access, and its own parking provision.

At the same time as approval for the building, Tony Mumford, a former detective inspector for Warwickshire Police’s rape investigation team, was appointed as the new manager for the centre. Tony has acted as interim manager throughout the project to date so has made a seamless transition to post.

Tony explained his vision for the centre: "I’ve worked in partnership to take this project from an aspiration to a reality so I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to develop what I believe will be a first class, non-judgmental facility for the victims of sexual violence of whatever age and gender.

“The Blue Sky Centre really will be there for everyone, whether or not they want to report to the police, and it is a privilege to be able to help to rebuild shattered lives and confidence by providing a warm, safe environment in which they can receive the care, treatment and support that they deserve.

“The views of potential service users have been at the core of The Blue Sky Centre at every stage of this project and we insist that their needs will always come first.

“We need people to feel confident to self-refer to the centre, wherever they live in the region, and do so in the knowledge that they will be supported throughout the process with aid from any additional services they may require.”

Elaborating on the type of support the centre will be able to offer victims of sexual assault and their families, he said: “The centre will mainly focus on a medical response to a recent event but will also start the process of considering a client's wider needs and making arrangements for those needs to be met.

“It can also act as a gateway to other services provided elsewhere and in this way the Blue Sky Centre is just the starting point of a victim's recovery. I am really looking forward to working in partnership with the existing local sexual violence service providers; CRASAC, RoSA, Safeline and The Terrence Higgins Trust, to create a joined up response that really does make it easier for people to come forward and get help and protection."

Sexual assault can affect anyone, male or female, adult or child. If you have been sexually assaulted and need support, agencies in Coventry and Warwickshire want to help you.
•    Safeline can be contacted on 01926 408315
•    Rape or Sexual Abuse Support Project (RoSA) on 01788 551151
•    Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) Helpline 02476 277 777
•    Terence Higgins Trust on 0247 622 9292

To report a rape or sexual assault to the police, call 01926 415000 or 101 the new non-emergency number. In an emergency dial 999.

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