MORE than 400 survivors of childhood sexual abuse and neglect have come forward to ask for help from a £13.5m Government support fund.

The Future Pathways fund was launched in September 2016, in parallel with the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, to provide assistance to those who were abused while living in care in Scotland.

In its first year 428 people have registered and some have received help to take part in work or education, receive counselling or track down their personal records. Others have been helped to meet family members for the first time in decades.

An event to mark the 1st anniversary of Future Pathways takes place tonight [Thurs 14 Sept[ in Edinburgh.

Head of Future Pathways Flora Henderson said: “A year ago, we didn’t know if people would come forward and there wasn’t a clear sense of what sorts of support would be required. Huge strides have been made.

“Some people we’ve worked with have met family members for the first time in years, and others have talked about being able to do things that they always dreamed of but never had the chance.”

“Although over 400 survivors have already registered with us, but we know there are many, many more people out there who have had similar experiences and who could really benefit from our help and support."

John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills uirged more survivors to take advantage of the fund. “I would encourage anyone else who has experienced abuse or neglect as a child while they were living in care in Scotland to come forward and register for valuable support," he said.