Lynda Bellingham OBE Opens New University Research Centre

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Actress and campaigner Lynda Bellingham OBE told of her hopes for the University of Worcester’s National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA) as she officially opened the new research centre on Friday.

Ms Bellingham, who has spoken candidly about the abuse she suffered during a previous marriage, also received a University Fellowship at the ceremony, which took place at the University of Worcester Arena.

The NCSPVA will be a national centre of excellence for raising levels of research, understanding and awareness in violence and abuse – a continuation of the work done in this area at the University over the last decade.

Ms Bellingham, who received her OBE in recognition of her charity work last year, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that this centre has been launched. I think that the University of Worcester has shown such enormous courage to do something like this, and to now have a focus point where can come together and really try to understand why these things happen is fantastic.

“We have a jumping off point now with the creation of this new centre. We have raised awareness over the last few years but we have a long, long way to go – I would like to think that eventually, domestic abuse will just not be acceptable socially and that people will feel free and within their rights to report it, if they feel they have a problem.”

The centre will be led by Ruth Jones OBE, who has played an instrumental role in championing education, research and support services both in the UK and internationally throughout her distinguished career.

She was awarded the title of Worcestershire Woman of the Year in 2011 and named as a Woman Inspiring Europe in 2012, before also being awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List.

Ms Bellingham continued: “Ruth Jones is a star. What she’s doing here, the work that she does is just amazing and I have such admiration for her. I just hope that I don’t let her down and that I can continue to spread the word and remain involved with the NCSPVA, which would be marvellous.”

Ruth Jones added: “We are delighted that Lynda could be with us for the opening of the NCSPVA and to receive her University Fellowship. We are very grateful for her unflinching support, and that of her husband, Michael.”