History

The origin of Savana can be found in a local pilot project set up to raise the aspirations of women in Chell Heath. The emphasis was to be on encouraging them back into education and employment.

However, the workers quickly found themselves overwhelmed listening to women's stories of sexual abuse and violence. The need was recognised and a Rape Crisis service was set up.

Over the last 30 years the organisation now known as Savana has been on a roller-coaster journey, expanding and contracting as funding streams have changed. Since 1986 the demand for our services has increased from 363 counselling sessions to over 2000.

In our 30th year we celebrate the successes of the past, recognise the progress that we have made, and focus on providing a strong, sustainable service into the future.


Timeline

1986
The North Staffs Rape Crisis Service was set up by NACRO with premises in Stoke-on-Trent.
1989

The service became an independent, autonomous organisation and a registered charity employing one full time manager and with one volunteer.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council provided a premises in Hanley for a peppercorn rent with an office and one counselling room.

1996

Name changed to Rape Crisis (North Staffs and South Cheshire) to more accurately reflect the area served by the organisation and a new constitution was adopted.

National Lottery Charities Board funding to develop the service – Deputy Manager appointed. 15 – 20 volunteers.

Training course validated by CENTRA – Rape Crisis Counselling for volunteer counsellors.

2002

Name change following consultation with our membership, clients and other agencies. The new name, Women’s Rape and Sexual Violence Service (WR & SVS) more fully reflects the work we cover.

Achieved the standard for Investors in People (IIP) (November)

2004

Extended premises to include counselling suite and training/meeting room.

2006

Began Partnership Training with Staffordshire Police IDLDP.

Employed our first Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) under a Home Office initiative.

2007

Attained British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) service accreditation.

Name change to Savana.

2008

Funding Crisis prompted restructure of the service and a reduction in staff.

2009

Received funding to duplicate the service to accommodate men and boys.

2011

Trained 18 Crisis Workers for Client advocacy and support in partnership with Brighter Futures for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust/Police Authority/Local Councils Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based in Cobridge.

2012

Became a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status.

2013

Awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Services - an organisational MBE.

Gained The Survivors Trust Standards.

Gained Rape Crisis England and Wales Standards.

Employed a third ISVA.

Were successful with the tender to continue to provide the Out of Hours Crisis Worker service to Grange Park, Staffordshire’s SARC.

2015

Moved to our new larger premises at Wood House to accommodate further service growth.