Andrea Williams – Individual Award Nominee – 2003

Andrea is the longest serving member of Colchester Rape Crisis Line, which was established in 1989. She was, and remains, the back-bone of the organisation. From its humble beginnings to its present strength, with eleven volunteers staffing the helpline and offering counselling, outreach and advocacy support. The fact that the organisation has been able to reach such a large number of women and girls is largely a consequence of Andrea’s generosity, incisive vision, dedication and hard work. This year, she took a significant pay cut, leaving her university post to take a position at CRCL as a Youth Support Worker, working with vulnerable and disenfranchised adolescents. Her knowledge and expertise in this area has earned her the trust and respect of local schools, where she is regularly asked to educate teachers and staff; she has also participated in national research on this subject. She is an inspiration to those who have worked alongside her over the years, and she has gently and fearlessly accompanied many women and girls as they face and overcome their personal tragedies, and realise the strengths and potential in themselves which they thought had been extinguished.