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Meet Vivien Carter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vivien Carter. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Rochdale Connections Trust (RCT) was formed after all the magistrates sitting in the youth court expressed grave concerns that most of the young people appearing before them were not attending school. They were not playing truant but had just found ways of avoiding being enrolled on a secondary school register. The local authority soon found ways of closing that gap but it was clearly evident that these – often deprived young people – needed more support… RCT was founded. Originally, we provided mentors for the young people referred to us and this worked well, however, many of our mentors were finding that the parents of the young people needed a great deal of support too. 

We began to offer this support to them but began to realize that many of them needed specialist help – particularly those who had suffered domestic abuse… Two of our workers trained in supporting these victims came back to the charity where they set up a support group to help abused women… 

These courses proved very popular (and very successful) and we very quickly had a waiting list of those wishing to join us. This program continues successfully and we have also developed other related courses, for perpetrators of DV., child witnesses, Counselling, and so on. Meanwhile, we continue with our original aims – helping young people 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road has never been smooth. Funding, is, of course, one of our major difficulties – we have, over the years received funding from a wide number of funding bodies, for which we are always grateful. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase our building, with the support of the bank and others. The building is located centrally and we are able to hire out rooms, which has generated a small income. 

Today we are able to offer counselling sessions on a private basis. 

We have always sought to generate income alongside the charitable activities which are our major concern. During the recent pandemic, this has stood us in good stead, 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I began work as a teacher and after a number of years moved to work in industry as a Home Economist. I was appointed to the bench of magistrates, soon after I moved into industry, which is how I came to chair the Youth Court panel. I enjoyed life as a Home Economist, however, an accident led to my becoming disabled and I was unable to carry on with this work. 

I was able to continue with my work on the bench – which probably saved my sanity! This also encouraged my wish to help others and directly led to my generating RCT. 

What matters most to you? Why?
My family is obviously one of my major concerns. Alongside this, I would prioritize helping other less fortunate than we are 

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