Lucy’s Update

Welcome to our October update.

September seems like a distant memory and the beginning of October has flown by!

The Alpha Vesta Team have continued to be busy running our public training programme as well as direct work with Employers, building policies and procedures around domestic abuse as well as creating and delivering bespoke training. It’s been wonderful to get back into the training room again where I’ve been running sessions in both East London and Essex.

On the 5 October we attended the Brentwood Business Showcase which was fantastic! This was such a great opportunity to connect with businesses and meet people from across Essex to raise the profile of the work we are delivering.

Only a few days later on the 7 October, we attended the Brentwood Business Awards where we were shortlisted as a finalist within the ‘Best Community Engagement’ category sponsored by Hallmark Care. It was a remarkable evening, and we are so very proud to have become a finalist in this category, as there is so much great work being done for and within our communities.

team awards

I’m also pleased to have taken up a role this month as a MARAC Chair across Essex. For those not familiar with MARAC. A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), probation and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors. MARAC Meetings occur across the country where we not only share information but create action plans for those most vulnerable to domestic abuse across our community. It’s an incredibly rewarding role and the MARAC Team in Essex have made me very welcome.

We are also delighted to launch the new ‘Community Advocate’ section in our monthly update, where we will introduce you to our newest Community Advocates each month. For October, we bring you, ‘Your Healthcare’ who are doing some amazing work in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse across their workforce and community.

Finally, last month I included an article on the trial of a 90 year old man who was being accused of the attempted murder of his wife. The verdict in that trial has now been released and I include an updated article in our Domestic Abuse in the News section to highlight, once again, the real complexity we have with so many domestic abuse incidents that don’t fit the prevailing narrative.
They are rooted in vulnerability and great sadness particularly for the family around them. I have also included an article written by Essex Police on the #reflect campaign which encourages those that may be concerned about their behaviour, to pause and reflect before accessing that specialist support.

Thank you for taking the time to read our update and we look forward to being in touch with you all again in November.

Best wishes
Lucy Whittaker

Lucy Whittaker

Founding Director and Lead Trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC

community scheme

October Community Advocate Spotlight: Your Healthcare



Can you describe some of the steps you have taken to move forward with your Community Advocate role? 

Over the course of a month, we have sent weekly comms to all staff promoting Alpha Vesta and sharing Lucy’s fantastic blog.  Lucy hosted online training for our members on raising awareness of domestic abuse in the workplace which was well received. We have created a dedicated Alpha Vesta/Domestic Abuse awareness intranet page which all staff have access to.  This page includes Lucy’s video on embedding culture and understanding into the workplace, online booking for upcoming Alpha Vesta training, Alpha Vesta’s Survivor’s Symposium, Alpha Vesta’s Twitter feed, resources on Domestic Abuse, links to DA national and local charities and refuges, emergency numbers and information on legal support available. We are continuing to promote the new Alpha Vesta dedicated intranet page and our role as Community Advocate alongside our new Healthy Relationships training which takes place next week. 

How important is it to you to break the cycle of domestic abuse at a much earlier point across your community and workforce? 

Several staff members have come forward for support with domestic abuse because they felt safe to do so due to our ongoing promotion of Alpha Vesta and DA. This has clearly highlighted to us the importance of educating staff and normalising the conversation around domestic abuse in the workplace at the early stages before the situation possibly escalates. 

How has the work you’ve been doing so far been received? 

Individual feedback has been positive with many members highlighting how they feel less afraid of discussing the topic of DA with colleagues and how they feel more knowledgeable on how to signpost if the conversation came up at work.  Staff have mentioned they were previously unaware of how someone experiencing DA may present at work and this has been helpful. Our aims are to continue to increase understanding across our community and workforce with further training, promotional events and eventually to create safe spaces at work for discussion and support.

Community Action Walk About

Julie is currently taking a well-deserved holiday and will be back to update us in November.

Dates for the Diary

Core 1: Understanding Domestic Abuse and its Impact

Core 1: Understanding Domestic Abuse and its Impact

 Click on the above link to access the Eventbrite link to book your place 

Core 2: The Complexity of Domestic Abuse

Core 2: The Complexity of Domestic Abuse

Click on the above link to book your place via our Eventbrite page

Core 3: Impact of Domestic Abuse in the Workplace

Core 3: Impact of Domestic Abuse in the Workplace

Click on the above link to access the Eventbrite link to book your place

National Support & Help

National 24hr Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 For women and children experiencing domestic abuse

Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 For men experiencing domestic abuse

RESPECT 0808 802 4040 For those concerned that they may be using abusive behaviours

NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 If you are concerned about a child

Samaritans 116 123 For those struggling in terms of their mental health and feeling in crisis

NCDV 0800 970 2070 free, fast emergency injunction service for survivors of domestic abuse

Essex Regional Support & Help

Alpha Vesta 01245 791281 For employers and employees concerned about a staff member

Compass 0330 333 7 444 Compass is being delivered by a consortium of established domestic abuse support agencies including; Safe Steps, Changing Pathways and The Next Chapter. The aim is to provide a single point of access for callers to speak with a trained member of staff who will complete an assessment and ensure contact is made with the most appropriate support service.

The Change Project 01245 258 680 Committed to preventing conflict in relationships and working with both perpetrators, victims and their children.

CPD Provider
Lottery Community Fund
brentwood Chamber
Essex Partnership
Police, fire and crime commissioner for essex
Essex Community Foundation

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