Centre provides safe haven for abused EL males

The Open Hands Support Centre (OHSC) is a newly registered non-profit organisation (NPO) that aims to offer support for abused and neglected males persons by providing information, counselling and care services.

GOING EXTRA MILE: Open Hands Support Centre board member Trevor Willard in the NPO’s charity shop on Cambridge Street Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

The centre is targeting males persons of all ages and religions who have fallen prey to robbery, drugs, abuse and rape.

According to board member Trevor Willard, the idea for the organisation first came to him in December 2018 last year although it would only started taking to take shape in January 2019.

“I got my friends Rodger Norman and Ceceilia Theart together and we decided to open a place for abused male persons,” said Willard said.

Both Norman and Theart are board members, along with Willard and Rhoda Postman.

OHSC recently opened a charity shop on Cambridge Street, opposite Motoland. The shop sells donated unused goods, such as clothes and books.

Willard said OHSC plans to expand even further in the future.

“We are also in the process of obtaining a safe house to provide temporary accommodation where support and counselling will be provided,” he said.

“OHSC would like to offer these men a safe haven where they can come for counselling and protection when it is needed.

“At present, we are only operating in East London, but we hope to open satellite offices in other locations in the Eastern Cape.”

Willard thanked local businesses and the community for their ongoing support.

“The public response was overwhelming and very supportive,” he said.

Anyone looking to support OHSC or for more information can contact Willard at 082-813-0206 or Theart at 083-538-1856. They can also be reached via e-mail at openhandsel@gmail.com.

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