Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Westminster, Whitehall and Berkhamsted village news and views

Exclusive:Honoured by the Queen, mugged by David Cameron

 National child abuse hero Graham Wilner: Picture reproduced courtesy Rory Wilmer Photography
National child abuse hero Graham Wilmer: Picture reproduced courtesy Rory Wilmer Photography
This is  Graham Wilmer who received an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours at the weekend.  He received the honour because of his tireless work to provide support for the survivors of child sexual abuse through the Wirral based Lantern Project (.
His citation reads:“For services to survivors and victims of abuse.”
The letter from the Cabinet Office says the award was made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
But what the Prime Minister gives, the PM also takes away.
Just as he receives his award – a pinnacle of achievement and recognition for a sexually abused kid who now helps others – the government is stripping him of any funding which virtually means his operation has no cash after September. The full story can be seen on Exaro News -
Funny  that. Cash is no longer available just at the point when  the Met Police investigations from Operation Yewtree ( Jimmy Savile and friends); Operation Fernbridge and Fairbank ( 300 leads into mainly gay sexual abusers of young boys) and Operation Torva ( just beginning to look at the Roman Catholic Salesian school order ( 30 or more victims, 20 or more priests and teachers under investigation) started by Graham Wilmer himself are bringing forward unprecedented numbers of people who need support. The Met Police has no money for supporting victims. And the extension of the North Wales investigation under Operation Pallial, is also bringing to light new victims, though to her credit Theresa May, the home secretary, has offered Home Office support to those victims.
How different is David Cameron whose Downing Street press office told me that he had put aside £10.5m over three years – and it turned out this was for rape crisis centres.
As Graham put it himself: “It is really time that David Cameron got his act together over funding to counsel people who have been sexually abused as children. You can’t have the police encouraging people to come forward as child abuse victims and then have no system of support for them.”
And then there is Liberal Democrat Home Office junior minister Jeremy Browne. All he could offer was a weasely worded letter to Mr Wilmer suggesting he contact the Merseyside police commissioner, Jane Kennedy for some cash.  But I can’t see how Merseyside police should be expected to fund counselling for three major national child abuse investigations. I think they have a few other matters to deal with.
Jeremy Browne and David Cameron describe child sexual abuse as an abhorrent crime. Obviously not abhorrent enough to find any money to support what looks like thousands  of victims.

7 Responses to “Exclusive:Honoured by the Queen, mugged by David Cameron”

  1. Thanks, David. Nice job!
    Graham Wilmer The Lantern Project 168 Seabank Rd, Wallasey, Wirral CH451HG UK Phone: 0151 630 6956 mobile: 07866 508094
  2. Reblogged this on theneedleblog.
  3. Not surprised all sadly. Under IDS the DWP has pissed away billions to money grabbing poverty pimps like A4e g4s ingeus and atos who make other peoples Lives a misery yet cant help csa victims
  4. Dear David Hencke i found that artist graham ovenden had contributed to a well known paedophile magazine called PAIDIKA some years back. Did the judge know about this ?
  5. Thank you David for such an excellent revelation
    What a society we live in
    There is so much wealth in our country and those that have the most are adding to it over and over again while the man in the street and our children have to endure cuts under the veil of austerity which they played no part in causing.
    I read an article in the Daily Mail on the 15th June, and even putting one side that paper’s track record of inaccuracy, Tony Blair alone is reputed to be worth between £80 and £100 million. What can one person need such wealth for, with the potential to earn a great deal more in the near future.Is it morally acceptable that a public official whom the public elect should be able to turn that privilege in to the ability to command millions in earning power ?
    Blair and a hundred other individuals alone could chose to fund without noticing the difference a programme of support to victims for many a year
    putting back in to the public arena a small part of what they’ve piggy-backed out of it
    When the tax avoidance routes are closed(although we won’t hold our breath on that one) perhaps David Cameron could put his money where his mouth is and honour his statement made days after the Savile revelations last year that ” a true measure of our society is how we treat our most vulnerable” . He actually went on to say that child sexual abuse is the most heinious crime of all.
    Only you and your Government,Mr.Cameron,have the power to sort this once and for all

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Queen awards Graham Wilmer an MBE for helping survivors.

Wirral charity worker awarded MBE for services to victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Graham Wilmer, founder of the Wirral-based Lantern Project, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for his work over the past 13 years, helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse cope with the long-term impact of the trauma they suffered.
Mr Wilmer, who, like the majority of survivors, kept silent about abuse he had suffered as a child, for 40 years, until finally disclosing his ordeal in 1998, after suffering a mental health breakdown, following which he set up a small support group, Victims No Longer, to help himself and other victims.
In 2003, with the help of his friend and fellow survivor, David Williams, he founded the Lantern project, a registered charity, based initially in Graham’s family home in New Brighton, offering support and counselling to victims in Wirral.
Graham also set up a web site, offering support through a Survivors Forum, and within12 months, the charity had been contacted by hundreds of victims from all over the UK.
Professionals, including GPs, Social Services and other agencies began referring victims to the project for help and support, and by 2005, the project was inundated, so an application to the Lottery provided a small grant that enabled the project to rent a small building that became the hub of the counselling service, which ran a day time and evening service, until 2008, when the project was given a grant from Wirral Primary Care Trust, enabling them to move to larger premises and hire additional counsellors, to help deal with the ever increasing demand for their services.
Since then, the project has produced a range of books and films, to help victims deal with the trauma they have experienced, and also to give professionals a better understand of the long-term consequences of child abuse, and how to treat the problems that emerge over the life of survivors.
The Lantern Project is also working with the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside police and North Wales police, on a number of high profile child abuse investigations, providing support and counselling to the victims.
Graham is a also leading the call for a national commission for victims of abuse to be set up by the government, an idea which is gathering momentum, following declarations of support for the idea from the heads of child protection at the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission.
Graham said: “I am trying to get the government to publicly recognise the awful damage caused by child abuse, which needs to be treated as a public health epidemic, because that is what, in reality, it is. They continue to drag their feet, but we are now making some headway, thanks in part to the sea change in the way the police and the CPS are now treating victims of child abuse, as a result of the fall out from the Jimmy Savile case.
“Obviously, I am delighted to have been given this award, but I accept it on behalf of everyone involve with the Lantern Project, as is also in recognition of the thousands of hours of voluntary work they have all done to help victims of child abuse, and will continue to do so, provided we are able to find the funds to keep the project going, which is a major problem at the moment, but we will find a way.”

Monday, 10 June 2013

Michael Bennett

3:17 PM on 8/6/2013
The ECHO should be ashamed that they even ran a story which singled out an very good school, who work extremely hard with its youngsters and who have never, ever, been under an investigations for such crimes.

Graham Wilmer

2:32 PM on 10/6/2013
Until myself and the other victims of abuse at Salesian schools came forward, which led to the current investigation into allegations of child abuse at schools in England run by the Salesians, (Savio High School is run by the Salesians), there had never been any 'investigations for such crimes' in any of the other schools run by the Salesians either. The current police investigations (as at 30th May) had recorded eleven new allegations from seven victims, naming eight suspects, and involving the Salesian schools in Battersea, Oxford and Farnborough. This is in addition to previously reported cases, including my own, at Salesian College Chertsey, and Salesian College Blaisdon, and the Salesian Seminary college (now closed) at Shrigley Hall inCheshire. The Liverpool Echo were absolutely right to publish this story. We (the victims) have been silenced for too long. We are now breaking that silence, and I encourage all victims to come forward and talk to the police.