An Oxfordshire charity has teamed up with businesses to deliver strength training for survivors of sexual violence.

Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) has established a partnership with The Project PT in East Oxford to offer a 10-week 'Survivor Strength' programme.

The Project PT is a gym that aims to create positive change in the community.

The programme has been funded in collaboration with an Oxfordshire business.

The Project PT has partnered with Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis CentreThe Project PT has partnered with Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (Image: OSARCC)

It is delivered by trauma-informed, female coaches from The Project PT alongside OSARCC team members.

Participants have the choice between boxing and strength exercises, and the entire gym will be closed while they are there.

The programme is open to all survivors waiting to receive counselling support from OSARCC.

Lauren Kendall, CEO of OSARCC, said: "We are really excited to be able to offer this new programme to survivors on our counselling waiting list.

"Physical movement can greatly improve trauma symptoms and wellbeing, and we are thrilled to have the support of the coaches at The Project PT.

"It’s also wonderful to partner with a small Oxford business.

"Abstract Leap were really responsive to this idea when we shared it with them and their funding means we have been able to make it happen."

As the sole, non-statutory, accredited specialist service for survivors of sexual violence in Oxfordshire, OSARCC's counselling service had to close its waiting list in April 2023 due to increased demand and decreased funding.

Project PT and Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis CentreProject PT and Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (Image: OSARCC)

Kate Taylor, social impact manager at The Project PT, said: "OSARCC do amazing work and at The Project PT we are very excited and grateful to be able to be a part of the survivor's group.

"At The Project PT we see movement as a tool to empower people, so this group is exactly what we are about.

"As a female owned company, with several female managers, we have a strong passion for gender equality.

"Many of us have direct experience with sexual abuse, or have a close friend who has experienced it.

"This should not be the norm, so we are grateful to be a part of the survivor's healing journeys, and of the wider solution."

James Holwell, director at Abstract Leap, added: “We are delighted to support this innovative project: we know how much charities depend on partnerships with local businesses to further their aims and we’re proud to support OSARCC’s amazing work.”

OSARCC's paid staff and volunteers work with survivors of all ages and genders, who have experienced child sexual abuse, rape or any other form of sexual violence - whether it was experienced recently, in the past, or as children.