The National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) has secured enough funding to launch a free national telephone helpline for a year.
A £43,000 grant from Lloyds TSB Foundation will pay for a permanent fundraising and development director to run the project.
Peter Saunders, the founder of the charity, will temporarily fill the role and attempt try to generate enough funds next year to continue the service beyond 2003.
The telephone line will provide information and counselling services to people traumatised by childhood abuse. It will also advise other voluntary organisations and community groups working in the area.
Grant money has paid for six professional telephone counsellors to man the helpline from an office in Manchester. The charity has received about 200 calls since the service was launched last week.
NAPAC has secured a £50,000 grant to cover its basic running costs until 2005. This will include running seminars and conferences to educate the public about the impact of childhood abuse on adults and to provide training for people supporting adults who have experienced neglect in childhood.
"No one else provides this kind of service," said Saunders. "Other charities with helplines, such as the Samaritans and ChildLine, have been really supportive. I hope we'll be able to raise enough cash to be able to continue the service after the end of next year."