Bristol Rovers Football Club have been hailed for standing up for the victims and survivors of child abuse after announcing their first charity partner of the 2018-19 season.
In a groundbreaking step which it is hoped will encourage other clubs to follow their example, the League One club will partner with the Southmead Project which provides free therapeutic and practical support to adults who were abused as children and have turned to drugs, alcohol and other ways of self-harming as a consequence of that trauma.
Throughout the season, Rovers will be working with the Project to help raise awareness and funds to support its work.
Mike Peirce, founder of the charity, said: “At Southmead Project we provide the necessary support for victims and survivors of child abuse to heal their emotional wounds, enabling them to overcome the post-traumatic stress disorder that has developed because of the trauma they had experienced.
“The decision of Bristol Rovers to support us in our work is an enormous step forward in acknowledging the extent of child abuse in our city, and the enormous problems this brings to the individual, and the family concerned.
“The club has stood up to be counted as befits its sense of fair play and community spirit; openly proclaiming its decision to come down on the side of those who have had the misfortune to become innocent victims of appalling circumstance as children.
“This example of human kindness, compassion and commitment so clearly demonstrated by Bristol Rovers is a credit to all concerned. By their actions, the club will not only be helping to raise money for us to carry out our work but will be giving a voice to those who have been silenced for so long.”