Why Portsmouth counselling service’s new home is ‘great benefit to our users’

From left, Kim Hosier, Gemma Green, Eleanor Palmer and Asheta Jayapalam from Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (PARCS). Picture: David George
From left, Kim Hosier, Gemma Green, Eleanor Palmer and Asheta Jayapalam from Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (PARCS). Picture: David George

A CHARITY that provides counselling for survivors of rape and abuse says that its new home in Portsmouth has made it much more accessible for users.

The Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (PARCS) moved into its new home at Diana House in Goldsmith Avenue in May, holding an official launch event on Monday evening.

Moving from PARCS’ previous home in North End, Diana House has, according to the charity, been much more popular due to it being centrally located and accessible by public transport.

Centre director Kim Hosier says that the new centre has also had a positive impact on service users.

She said: ‘Our new home feels absolutely fantastic – the old building was falling apart so it is really nice to be somewhere inviting like this.

‘For our visitors it subliminally shows them that we care, and by being in the centre of the city we are also much more accessible.

‘Everyone who has come in since we moved here has told us how much they love it; things like the garden are of great benefit to our users because we can do group sessions and other things outdoors to help them unwind.’

At the official opening a new fundraising campaign was launched by the charity, where people can ‘buy a tile’ to help PARCS to pay for its new mortgage.

Kim Hosier added: ‘We were struggling for options when it came to a new home because nowhere really suited us

‘We’re incredibly grateful to both the Charity Bank and Portsmouth City Council for their support – without them I don’t know where we would be today.’

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Lee Mason was a special guest at the launch.

He said: ‘

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘PARCS is an incredibly important charity offering support to those at a time when they desperately need it.

'It’s fantastic that through hard work and determination they have raised enough funds to enable them to open their new premises and keep their vital services going.’