Rape crisis charity closes after failing to win more funds

One of the UK's largest rape crisis charities has closed after failing to secure further funding.

Create, which offered advocacy and counselling for victims of sexual abuse and rape, was unsuccessful in finding a rescue package to clear its £40,000 deficit. The organisation needed £50,000 a month to cover its running costs.

Create's overheads included 12 full-time staff and £2,000 a month rent for its residence at Royal House, Middlesbrough.

"It's been extremely stressful and heartbreaking to see all our work fold," said Alison Harris, chairperson of Create. "Even though the rates were waived - the rent that we paid didn't help and I've just found out that we could have got somewhere for free."

The three local authorities which part funded Create have agreed to pay for a counsellor and one advocate to support the 48 women on the charity's waiting list who have been referred to the Women's Support Network, a smaller domestic violence charity in Middlesbrough.

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