THE town's only dedicated service for victims of sex attacks has been saved from closure thanks to a £500,000 grant.

Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, based in The Core on County Way, has been handed the award by the Big Lottery Fund.

Lynne Casserley, who heads up BSARCS, said it would help the centre sustain the service it offers to both men and women in the town.

Part of the money awarded will also be used to extend face-to-face services for victims in Barnsley.

She said: "This funding is so needed at a time when the problem of sexual abuse and rape is increasing .

"The number of people who have contacted us in the past year has increased 20 per cent."