The early Spring sunshine that we recently experienced certainly gave everyone a boost (we hope it comes back soon!). The Alpha Vesta Team have had a very busy March working with different employers, conducting workplace culture reviews as well as producing new resources and consulting on domestic abuse policies.
International Women’s Day
I was delighted to be asked to sit on a panel for International Women’s Day as part of Thurrock’s Enterprise week. The panel was an incredibly interesting group of women from different backgrounds and experiences who shared our thoughts on nurturing new talent, the impact of social media and ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The event was hosted by BBC News Presenter, Maxine Croxall, and despite panicking when I lost my internet connection for a few minutes, it was a fantastic panel discussion! We have provided the YouTube link for anyone that would be interested in watching it.
Essex Chambers of Commerce and Industry – Domestic Abuse Conference
I was also delighted this month to present at Essex Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s first Domestic Abuse Conference in Essex. I delivered, what I hope was an incredibly powerful presentation that showed the important role that a Workplace can have in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse. I was joined by the CEO of Essex Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Essex Police, The Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex as well as Practical HR Ltd. The Conference is being followed up by a series of forums for Essex Chambers members to take ideas forward.
Evening Online Training Sessions
We continue to provide a range of training across communities and workplaces. We take on feedback, suggestions and insight from attendees and one suggestion was to consider offering some evening sessions for those unable to make training sessions during the day. We begin our pilot of evening sessions later this month, with our Core 1 session ‘Understanding Domestic Abuse and its Impact’. You can find out more about our different CPD Accredited Training pathways in our Training Catalogue.
Survivors Symposium – A Male Perspective
We are determined at Alpha Vesta to continue in our mission to use ground level research from frontline professionals, survivors and those most impacted by domestic abuse to drive future best practice in prevention and early intervention. Our Survivors Symposium was launched in 2020 and offers those that have been impacted by domestic abuse, either directly or indirectly, the opportunity to share their experience and insight with us in a variety of different ways.
For the last few months, our Symposium discussions have been on ‘male culture around domestic abuse’. We felt as a group, the experiences of men around domestic abuse often go unheard whether they are direct victim/survivors themselves or fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, friends and work colleagues who have struggled to know what to do when a loved one has been experiencing domestic abuse. We have formed a small working group in order to create a poll which will be distributed across communities and workforces to gather insight from a male perspective. The Poll will be released over the next few weeks and we would be grateful if you were to encourage as many men as possible to complete it. Our aim is to identify gaps in understanding, support as well as impact around domestic abuse for male members of our communities and workforces.
Alpha Vesta working in partnership with NCDV
Alpha Vesta are delighted to support the NCDV (National Centre for Domestic Violence) in their new initiative. To find out more about our ongoing partnership and work together, please see our recent blog for more information here.
I also wanted to highlight that this week, the Government has launched its new ‘Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan’. The new plan includes a Pursuing Perpetrators pillar outlining the government’s plans to spend £75 million on “tackling perpetrators”. For more information click here.
Take care and we hope to see you at one of our next training sessions
Founding Director and Lead Trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC
Community Action & Walkabout Wednesday with Julie Bell
Julie Bell, Alpha Vesta & Matt Robinson, Shift Manager, Starbucks Canvey Island
This month has again been eventful promoting Alpha Vesta and our training offering.
I have been back to visit Starbucks Coffee on Canvey Island, as they are really on board with supporting the valuable work that we do. As such they are hosting a “Coffee & Cake” tasting event on Friday 8th April 2022, between 10am & 2pm.
This will be an informal morning open to everyone with free coffee & cake to sample and discount on a further cuppa! Those parents/carers with children can also relax as there will be colouring, balloons and sweets to keep them busy. So, if you are in the local area, pop in and say “Hello!”
I will be on hand to answer any questions that may be raised on how businesses can get involved with educating their staff on embedding culture and building understanding around domestic abuse and its impact. Our fully funded training is offered across Essex (delegate charges for advanced/enhanced sessions for those based outside of Essex) and is aimed at those working within any workplace or across any community. The sessions are designed to build awareness, understanding, confidence and skills to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and be able to reach out to someone who may be affected at an earlier point. This allows you to support colleagues and staff who may be affected as well as reach out to those in your wider community.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Matt, the store manager, for arranging this event, but even more so, for being involved in the valuable work that Alpha Vesta do by proudly displaying our posters and literature around the store.
Christie & Co, Hair Salon and Iceland Food Stores also on Canvey Island, are also local business who are proud to display our posters encouraging anyone to sign up to our FREE online training sessions. After speaking with the Iceland Food Store Manager, he was keen to promote us within store and our posters can be seen on both front and rear entrances.
WELL DONE CANVEY ISLAND FOR BEING PROACTIVE IN RAISING DOMESTIC ABUSE AWARENESS!
I also met with Russell Ridley, the Store Manager at Metro Bank Chelmsford this month to discuss our work and training. Russell was open to considering how we can incorporate our training offering into Metro Bank’s staff training to not only raise awareness with colleagues but also to raise awareness with their clients. This is a great start for Alpha Vesta within the banking/finance industry, so please watch this space!
II am looking forward to the months ahead and what they may bring! I may just be visiting somewhere in your area soon 😊 follow our Facebook page @alphavesta and find out where I will be visiting next. Please contact me here if you would like me to pop in for a chat!
Client & Community Co-ordinator
Dates for the Diary
Evening Session: Understanding Domestic Abuse & its Impact
Wednesday 20 April 7-9pm
brings you the first of our core sessions ‘Understanding Domestic Abuse and its Impact’ as an evening slot, following feedback from our attendees.
Domestic Abuse & Family Court Tilting the Axis
Monday 25 April 2pm-4pm
This 2 hr Webinar is for professionals working with those experiencing domestic abuse as well as within the legal arena.
Festival of BusinessEssex Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday 27 April 10am-3pm
Hylands House, Essex. An event to showcase the incredible variety and resilience of the Essex business landscape brought to you by Essex Chamber of Commerce.
Domestic Abuse: in the news
This month we are highlighting that domestic abuse does not always look like we expect it to look as well as having an enormous ripple effect. The articles I have shared below highlight the impact in our family court as well as on male victims and two domestic homicides where a parent was killed by their adult child.
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.