Lucy’s Update

We hope you have had a good summer and welcome to our September Newsletter!

Despite not running any public training sessions throughout August, we have been very busy working directly with a number of employers and workforces as well as reviewing current training sessions and new legislation.  We work really hard to make sure that our training encompasses anything new with regards to domestic abuse.

Our ‘Breaking the Cycle Programme’ has continued to run throughout the summer which is funded by DWP in Essex.  The aim of the programme is to support those that have experienced domestic abuse at some point during their adult or childhood that could be creating a barrier in terms of re-connecting with their community and the labour market.  The focus of the programme is to increase confidence and self-esteem as well as make sense of their own unique experience. If you know of anyone within Essex that would like to attend the programme and is currently in receipt of a working age benefit,  they can self-refer into the programme by emailing us here

I recently took up a new post as a MARAC Chair in Essex.  For those not familiar with the MARAC process, these multi-agency risk assessment conferences, take place across the country to bring key professionals together in cases of domestic abuse that have been assessed as high risk. These key statutory agencies as well as other professionals share key information and work together to ensure everything possible is being done to safeguard both high risk victims, their children and possible family members that are involved too.

I was also interviewed earlier last month by Anglia News on new proposals made by the Law Commission around ‘sharing of images without consent’.  This is something we see a lot of in domestic abuse cases and post-abuse cases where current or former intimate partners will share intimate photos to humiliate, harass or frighten their current or former victim.  The Law Commission are proposing increased protection, anonymity and a broader remit for these cases to ensure they are successfully prosecuted.

We continue to have a busy road ahead, delivering at various seminars including the NCDV Conference in November. We will also be attending the Brentwood Business Showcase on the 5 October at The Brentwood Centre, where we will have one of the exhibitor stands.   If you are free and want to catch up with us face to face, then please register for a free ticket here – we would love to see you!  

This month, in our ‘Domestic Abuse in the News’ section, I have included 4 links to cases to highlight the enormous complexity we have around domestic abuse when we reach the Court arena.  In the case of Ryan Giggs, the jury have been unable to reach a verdict.  In the case of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa, now he has reached half way through his sentence, he is seeking parole.  A case of a husband and wife in their 90’s with a backdrop of significant care needs which is being heard at the Old Bailey and finally the case of Rebecca and Paul Searing, an incredibly complex domestic homicide case with a backdrop of alcohol misuse and accusations of domestic abuse on either side between the couple.  These cases are complex but one thing we know for sure, is that early identification and a robust response does save lives and significant impact for all involved.  There are no happy endings in any of these cases despite a perceived ‘successful outcome’ in Court.  Communities, Families, Friends, Workforces and Colleagues don’t heal very quickly, if at all,  so let’s continue to commit to ‘breaking that cycle’ together and together we will make a difference!

Best wishes
Lucy Whittaker

Lucy Whittaker

Founding Director and Lead Trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC

#REFLECT  Essex unites to break the cycle of Domestic Abuse

Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) are working in partnership with The Change Project, to launch a new campaign to raise awareness of the support available for those who acknowledge that their behaviour and actions towards their loved ones, isn’t right.  We are encouraging those people to break the cycle of domestic abuse by changing their behaviour.

 Visit The Change Project  for more information or call 0845 372 7701 to speak to someone who can help you break the cycle of domestic abuse.

Please click on the below poster images to download and share within your workplace and community.

Spotlight on CPD Accreditations & Pathways

In July, we shared with you our new overview of our three CPD accredited pathways. Whilst any of our public training sessions can be accessed online in any order, certain sessions link together to form CPD Accredited Pathways.  Please see attached diagram of our 3 CPD Accredited pathways from our Public Training Catalogue and our CPD Accreditation Providers page can be viewed here:

All of the training sessions required to undertake any of our CPD Accreditations can be accessed via our Eventbrite page and if you would like to complete any of the Accreditations, please just contact the Team on  Our Enhanced and Advanced session are fully funded across Essex, however there is a £25 delegate charge for those living or working outside of Essex.  Following a successful online assessment, your CPD Accredited Certificate will be awarded.

Well what can I say….. I thought August was meant to be the “holiday” month and that things would be quiet, but no!

We continue to receive referrals from the Department of Work & Pensions for our Breaking the Cycle programme and so I have been very busy speaking to clients who have experienced or currently experiencing, difficult times.  Those that I have spoken with are often only needing and wanting to talk to someone; to not only be listened to, but actually heard!

Starbucks on Canvey continue to be proactive in their approach to raising Domestic Abuse awareness.  Having spent some time there over the last few months, I have already been approached by two people whom Alpha Vesta are now helping to support with their situations, it just goes to show that having a visual presence in the community can really work.  All on the back of one engaged store, where the area manager happened to come in.  This has now led to conversations with key Starbucks stakeholders, who have now enabled us to engaged with all their Essex Starbucks stores with a focus on raising Domestic Abuse awareness!  How brilliant is it that?! We are over the moon to have a well-known “High Street Coffee Store” on board with us! 

I continue to reinforce one of my favourite sayings:   TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, WE WILL SAVE A LIFE!

Really looking forward to the future.  Its going to be AMAZING 😊

Dates for the Diary

Male Culture &   Domestic Abuse

Male Culture & Domestic Abuse

21 September 2022

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

Enhanced Core 4

Enhanced Core 4

12 September 2022

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

Brentwood Business Showcase

Brentwood Business Showcase

5 October 2022

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.

Lottery Community Fund
Police, fire and crime commissioner for essex

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