LAUREN Mayberry, lead singer with chart-topping band Chvrches, insisted it would be “foolish” for Scots to “rest on their laurels” and expect the vital rape crisis service always to be there.

The patron of Glasgow Rape Crisis called for public support as she helped launch a £50,000 fundraising campaign with Scots crime writer Dame Denise Mina.

The theme of the rape crisis centre’s campaign is £40 for 40 Years, to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

It is hopes that a successful appeal will help the service to cut waiting times and pay for more one-to-one sessions for women who need them urgently.

Demand for the organisation’s help has doubled over the past year, with more than 11,000 calls being dealt with by the group’s helpline and more than 800 women looking for medium to long-term support.

About 50 people who have been raped or sexually assaulted are on a waiting list for one-to-one help, and it could be several months before they see someone because funding cannot meet the growing demand. Mayberry said: “I am really lucky that ever since I moved to the city when I was a teenager I’ve known that this service existed.

“It was always something we knew about when we were at university, and that’s an incredibly lucky position to be in.”

She added: “I think you need to be aware of that privilege and make sure you are supporting these organisations to help women from all walks of life. Just resting on your laurels and assuming it is going to exist without your help is a foolish thing to do.

“The moment people make the decision to reach out to somebody they need to be in the position to give them help in that moment.

“To wait two months in that situation is such a f****** long time.

“In situations like this, so many women and girls feel they don’t have anyone to turn to or anyone who could even begin to understand their experience.

“The statistics on unreported rape and assault speak for themselves. Organisations such as Rape Crisis provide essential support and advice when it is really needed. I am proud to support Rape Crisis and the incredibly valuable work that they do.”

Glasgow-born Mina said it was the charity’s other patron, comedian Susan Calman’s idea to run the £40 for 40 years drive, but she was unable to attend the launch.

The award-winning author said she hoped everyone would get behind the campaign because the charity had helped many women during its 40 years.

Mina said: “So many people that I know have been through this centre and have had their lives saved. You can’t live in this city for any length of time without knowing somebody whose life has been saved by this organisation.

“After 40 years of service, they are still struggling for funds and I think we could all just make that extra effort.

“Whether it be £40 or £4 – whatever you can give just as an appreciation of the fact that they shouldn’t be spending all their time trying to raise money, they should be spending their time giving their service. There are around 50 people on the waiting list and that’s not really on. They need to be seen immediately.”

Mina added: “It feels there is a fundamental shift in this generation in the way we response to people making allegations of sexual abuse and this is the point where we can say this is not a fringe service. It is not for other people’s children or friends, it is for us.”

She explained: “We need to own it, we need to support it and we need to say no-one should be on the waiting list.”

Mina added that £50,000 “is not much money”, and urged everyone to get out there with buckets for collections and to help boost the profile of the campaign by using social media.

Isabelle Kerr, the manager of the centre, said: “We need to raise £50,000 to help us meet the demands on our service.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone and many charities are asking for support, but though you may not think so, you will know somebody who has been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed at some time in their lives.”