How Harmless Came To Be

By Caroline Harroe (Harmless CEO)

Who started Harmless and why?
Harmless CIC was founded in 2007 by Caroline Harroe and Amy Harroe. Both Caroline and Amy have lived experience of self harm, and were motivated to start Harmless in order to provide support to other people who were struggling with self harm and suicide. They started by providing support groups for people who were self harming, but quickly realised that there was a need for a wider range of services. Caroline and Amy soon started to develop new services, such as one-to-one counselling and crisis support.

Harmless has grown significantly since its foundation and the organisation now provides a wide range of services to people who are self harming, suicidal and bereaved by suicide. It also works to raise awareness of self harm and suicide, to challenge the associated stigma, and to educate the public about these issues.

What motivated Harmless to exist?
Harmless was motivated to exist by the belief that everyone deserves to live a happy and fulfilling life, and that no one should have to suffer alone with self harm or suicidal thoughts. Harmless is committed to providing support and hope to people who are struggling, and to helping them to recover.

How Harmless remains true to its original values
Harmless remains true to its original values by providing support and hope. The organisation is committed to providing a safe and supportive space for people to talk about their experiences without judgement, and to get the support they need to recover. Harmless also remains true to its original values by being led by people with lived experience of self harm. The majority of staff have lived experience of self harm, and this experience informs the organisation’s work.

Harmless’ mission statement is:
Harmless shall provide support, information, training and consultancy about self harm to individuals who self harm, their friends, families and professionals with a view to promoting health and recovery, reducing isolation and distress, and by increasing awareness and skill in intervention.

Harmless’ values are:

  • Compassion: We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and respect.
  • Hope: We believe that there is always hope for recovery.
  • Inclusion: We believe that everyone should feel welcome and included in our community.
  • Empowerment: We believe that people should be empowered to make their own choices and to take control of their lives.

These values are reflected in all of Harmless’ work. The organisation’s mission statement and values are available on the website and we are proud to stand up as a service that fights for the rights and equality of those facing self harm and suicide.