A SCOTTISH pop star and a top author will launch a high-profile fundraising campaign tomorrow to celebrate Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre’s 40th anniversary and help survivors of sexual violence get vital support.

Charity patrons Lauren Mayberry, lead vocalist with the band Chvrches, and Glasgow crime writer Denise Mina, will kick-start the Glasgow centre’s £40 for 40 Years campaign to raise £50,000 to cut waiting lists and increase drop-in sessions.

Demand for their services have doubled over the past year with more than 10,500 calls to the helpline and 800 women looking for medium- to long-term support.

Around 50 women who have been raped or sexually assaulted are on a waiting list for one-to-one help, however, they could be waiting several months because the funding cannot meet the growing demand.

Isobel Kerr, Rape Crisis Glasgow manager, said: “Over the past few years the number of women seeking help has gone up. For example, last year we processed about 5,500 calls through the centre and all these calls were support and advocacy related. This was an increase of 25 per cent on the year before. However, for the year that we are in at the moment, which doesn’t finish until the end of March, we have had 10,500 calls so we’ve had a 100 per cent increase on the previous year already.

“Our figures for this year are going to be just under 800 survivors who need medium- to long-term support – that’s individuals and that means that they have access to someone face-to-face and they can use the drop in and our group work programme.

“We support survivors but we also support their families and because we work with very young women, some as young as 13, it is not unusual for us to be supporting a young woman and her mum and dad.

“In order to meet the demand at the moment we need to raise another £50,000 because our waiting lists are getting longer.

“We have around 50 women sitting waiting to see a worker and they are probably going to wait a couple of months at least. It is just unacceptable and not fair.”

She added: “The other thing that is extremely pressing for us is the drop-in. At the moment, with the lack of resources, we can only have the drop-in one day a week on a Wednesday during the day and at night. It is exceptionally busy.”

Isobel said it was the idea of comedian Susan Calman, their third patron, to launch a £40 for 40 Years campaign but she is unable to make the big day.

Kerr said: “The idea was that we wanted to mark the fact that we were still around after 40 years, but unfortunately we still have to generate quite a lot of our own income because in the current climate funding is becoming more and more difficult to get any kind of income.

“A lot of grants have been frozen for a number of years and, in effect, demand has gone up considerably but the funding hasn’t.

“Ideally, it would be absolutely lovely if people could donate £40 but we are being realistic and we know not everyone can afford £40 and any donation would be very welcome.”

Isobel said the £50,000 would cut the waiting lists and expand the drop-in service.

“I wouldn’t want people to think that we are £50,000 short in our budget for next year, we are not, and believe me we make every single penny count but that extra money would bring down that waiting list, expand the drop-in service and allow us to do more group work.”