When I first started working in the voluntary sector some time ago (OK quite a long time ago...), I volunteered in a mental health information service in Edinburgh. This was before we were quite so reliant on the internet, and we had a huge room full of information about pretty much anything to do with mental health, some comfy chairs and endless tea, where people could just drop in and we'd help them find the information they needed.

Of the many services I recommended to people one always stuck in my mind - Bristol Crisis Service for Women - if you need support for self-harm, we were told by our manager, this is the service to go to. At the time I was too unwell to work and the thought that a group of women somewhere were running this amazing service, talking about self-harm, made me feel like the world was a better place just for knowing it was there.

Today, Bristol Crisis Service for Women is Self injury Support, and I'm the director (did you see that coming, because I didn't!). It's still an amazing organisation, full of brave and compassionate women, offering a refuge to talk about self-harm.

BUT this is all under threat - we've worked very hard over the years to continue to offer a service that focuses purely on the needs of the people using it, offers what they tell us they want and asks nothing of them. This is fundamental to our ethos as an organisation. However, the funding climate has become more and more competitive and we are struggling to find funders who appreciate and want to support our work.

For over 30 years, we’ve offered support to thousands of women and girls in the depths of despair, but now we need to ask for help ourselves.

Now we need your help to save our services and carry on giving lifesaving help to women and girls who use self-harm, because without your support the only free, UK-wide self harm support service will close in early 2020.

Despite our best efforts, we are struggling to secure funding to carry on running our services after the end of January 2020.

There's not a lot of space in a fast-paced digital world to just sit and listen to people, but we believe the healing power of witnessing and accepting people's experiences is more powerful than any of us know.

If you can spare anything to help us keep our services open, we would be eternally grateful. 

The best way to help save our services is to sign up to a small monthly donation.

If everyone reading this was able to donate £5 a month the service would be fully funded and we would no longer need to constantly apply for funding grants.

We know £5 a month is not affordable for everyone but any support you can give by donating or sharing this appeal is hugely appreciated.