Lifecentre has modest roots.
It started as a conversation amongst friends.
We identified that there was something missing in the local area. No charity was offering a specialist services for people who had been raped or sexually abused.
So, in 2001, Lifecentre was born as a telephone helpline for those in West Sussex in need of support. We ran the service two nights a week and demand was such that we grew quickly. Before long, we were providing face-to-face counselling and therapy programmes, and resembled the charity that we are today.
Founder and Director, Maggie Ellis, shares her perspective on Lifecentre’s beginnings:
“We just started small, did what we could and haven’t stopped doing that. My philosophy is that if you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never been to bed with a mosquito! Sexual abuse is a human rights atrocity going on under our very suburban noses. I am personally motivated by my own family’s history as Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust (humbled by the knowledge that some of my family did not survive). In current British society we can be lulled into a false inertia that atrocities do not go on now, here, in our towns and villages. Martin Niemöller’s famous speech in 1946 resonates behind my passion to speak out for the reality of sexual atrocities going on now, here and in my town, and to strengthen other survivors in finding their voice too.”
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
(Martin Niemöller, 1946)