CARA was formed in 1989, as Colchester Rape Crisis Line. For many years CARA was a run by a team of committed volunteers, providing a helpline for women.
In 2002, CARA was able to appoint its first member of staff and our services started to grow and develop. CARA’s work and achievements became increasingly recognised: in 2004, CARA was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for voluntary service by groups in the community and in 2007 we won a prestigious Guardian Charity Award.
In 2008, Colchester Rape Crisis Line became CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse). Our new name reflected that, as well as rape victims, we were supporting more and more victims and survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and that we were covering a much larger area of Essex than just Colchester.
Since 2008, CARA has steadily grown, increasing its income, staff and reputation and extending the range of services we provide for victims and survivors.
Today, CARA has a team of 30 full and part-time staff and 21 sessional counsellors providing a wide range of services to clients of all genders and all ages. Volunteers have always been and will remain a vital part of CARA’s work. We currently rely on the support of around 15 volunteer counsellors, advocates, administrators and fundraisers.