Day in the Life of a SARC Male Outreach Worker

Written by our Male Crisis Worker Team in Surrey, Sussex and Kent to share more about the important work they do across the Southeast region.

18 January 2023

The best thing about being a Male Outreach Worker is that everything we do is to support our patients and that two days are never the same. The role is relatively new and has organically grown over the last few years; it re-enforces Mountain Healthcare’s, drive, commitment and values around diversity and further demonstrates that we are here to support all who need our help and support.

Fundamentally our roles across Sussex, Kent and Surrey are twofold. Firstly, to constantly raise awareness that sexual violence happens to males too, and secondly to support any male who has had an unwanted experience. Male Outreach Workers work for individual county SARCs but a more regional approach is adopted through our MSAS (Male Sexual Assault Support) project.

It’s incredibly rewarding walking into an outreach meeting or event, (whether public or professional facing) explaining who we are and what we do, and immediately seeing people recognise (or remind themselves) that sexual violence can happen to anyone, no matter their gender. Outreach meetings/events might include offering a presentation, or just sitting and talking informally with a group or individuals. There is no right or wrong, it’s just a case of making any audience feel as comfortable and informed as possible. Ultimately, we just want those we speak with to remember that our services are here and available 24/7/365.

There is a fine balance to what Male Outreach Workers do, and the ability to adapt to any audience is paramount. Of course, we are here to promote the “male” element to what we do, but at the same time, it is important to re-enforce that SARCs across the nation are open and available to everyone.

Using the last few months as an example, our Male Outreach Workers throughout the Southeast region have been as busy as ever, meeting different communities and spreading our message. Police departments, Armed Forces, educational establishments, NHS departments, LGBTQ+ groups, entertainment establishments, mental health groups, sex worker groups, Probation & Social Worker departments, local MPs, homeless projects, and sporting clubs – all know we are here, and without exception, all listen, learn, and hold the knowledge of where to go if one of their clients needs us.

Over the last 3 years, year on year, the Southeast SARCs have seen a noticeable increase in male referrals, and ultimately this is the aim. Breaking stigmas, promoting inclusivity, and making anyone, whoever they might be, know that reaching out and seeking support is absolutely the right thing to do.

Raising this awareness is so important, and for us, the most rewarding aspect of it is receiving referrals from males who are struggling. Once we know who they are, we can support them, listen to them, acknowledge their experience, help empower them, and look at linking them in with the very best specialist support. We are often struck by the sheer relief that many males have, just by being given the opportunity to tell their reality, and this is often just the start of the journey of improving life for them.

We urge anyone, anywhere – if you need our support, to reach out to your local SARC.