A Scarborough charity is bidding for a slice of Jimmy Savile’s cash in order to survive, after it was left virtually penniless helping the pervert DJ’s victims.
The charity Hope wants cash from the disgraced millionaire’s estate to keep providing support for the victims he abused over a decade along the coast.
It comes in a week in which more damning Savile revelations emerged, while Hope’s founder Pauline Carruthers added: “What better way is there for Savile’s money to be spent than to help the very people he abused?”
After Savile was posthumously unmasked as a child abuser, his fortune was put in a trust to aid his victims, with Hope seeking upwards of £100,000 from it.
The idea came after Pauline found out victims and good causes weren’t bidding for his money because it was “tainted” – a notion she doesn’t agree with.
“That’s rubbish, at the end of the day money is money, and it would ultimately be doing some good and helping his victims.”
Those victims include at least 60 people at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, victims who Savile was given “free reign” to abuse, a report found this week.
North Yorkshire Police also recently apologised for allowing both Savile and former Scarborough Mayor Peter Jaconelli to “slip under the net” and abuse dozens of children between them in the town.
But it is not just Savile’s victims the charity helps, with exclusive figures obtained by Hope revealing Scarborough referrals are up 73 per cent alone, with a spike in historical cases helping to nearly double sex crimes.
It is this surge that has put an immense strain on the charity, which has been “running on fumes” for several months.
Our staff haven’t been paid for almost a yearPauline Carruthers
Staff haven’t been paid for almost a year, while without a cash injection, downsizing is inevitable.
“March is make or break, if we don’t secure the money we are going to have to make huge changes – we can’t stay as we are,” added Pauline.
“We will have to rely on volunteers and as dedicated as our five staff are, it’s not sustainable to go on like this for another year.
“We are relying on spouses and family to help us out but kindness only goes so far.”
As a result, the charity has submitted several applications, including one for Government funding. That bid, worth around £200,000, would be enough to help keep the charity alive for the time being.
It will learn the outcome of both bids this month, with the Savile trust board understood to be meeting in the very near future.
In the meantime, it has to cope with a growing number of referrals, with figures showing that the charity is dealing with an extra referral per week on average compared to the same period 12 months ago,
By far the most common referral is female victims of historical child abuse, although staff can help deal with victims of everything from trafficking and forced marriage.
And dozens of people self refer to the centre, with anecdotal evidence showing that many of these have been triggered by the so-called ‘Savile effect’, with the “barrage of media coverage” driving people to get help for the traumas they endured.
Despite its financial problems, the charity is still hopeful that as well as staying afloat it could expand, opening offices in Whitby and Bridlington.