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Wolverhampton organisations recognised for work in tackling domestic abuse

A number of Wolverhampton organisations have been recognised for their work in tackling domestic absue and supporting survivors

Wolverhampton CCG, Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and Wolverhampton Refugee and Migrant Centre have been shortlisted for Empowerment of Hard to Reach Communities in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards, recognising their outstanding contribution to healthcare.

Wolverhampton CCG, Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and Wolverhampton Refugee and Migrant Centre has been shortlisted despite the tough competition from hundreds of applicants. They have been selected based on their ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that they/their project has/have had on patient and staff experiences within the health and/or social care sector.

The judging panel is made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including Rachel Power (Chief Executive, The Patients Association), Jean Knight (Chief Operating Officer, Northamptonshire Healthcare FT) and Vincent Badu (Deputy Chief Executive, Kent & Medway Partnership Trust.

This project was a response to a perceived unaddressed need for women and men from new arrival and more established BAME communities in Wolverhampton to become more aware of violence against women and girls (VAWG), to know how to report, to have more confidence in reporting and to know who to report to, to reduce occurrence of VAWG activities and to provide support for victims.

The project was made possible by the partnership working of funders NHS England (Safeguarding), Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and the Refugee and Migrant Centre Wolverhampton and Black Country. Between them the partners were able to provide: funding, curriculum, facilitation, coordination and access to participants.

The project evaluation heard stories first-hand from individuals with direct experience of violence and provided an understanding that these same individuals have, sometimes as a direct consequence, also been compelled to claim asylum in a foreign country, and that despite all those adverse experiences are grateful that they participated in this project and were motivated to move on and help others.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer, Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs comments, “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for Empowerment of Hard to Reach Communities in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members for over 12 months to successfully implement and evaluate this project. We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement. This nomination has been a tremendous boost to staff at Wolverhampton CCG and those of our partners for this project at Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and Wolverhampton Refugee and Migrant Centre. I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services.

Heather Thomas, Head of Health and Wellbeing at the Refugee and Migrant Centre, said: “This nomination is a tribute to the women participants who showed great bravery in sharing their personal experiences to support others in reducing the occurrence and devastating effects of gender-based violence.” 

“This project’s success came primarily from the interest and commitment of 150 women and 60 men from our newly emerging communities who volunteered to be ambassadors in their communities.  Alongside this the project benefited from excellent partnership working between the Refugee & Migrant Centre who hosted and recruited volunteers, the Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group who facilitated and monitored the funding and project, together with my organisation Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum who provided the subject expertise and resources, and community training and engagement. 

Kathy Cole-Evans, Chief Officer, Wolverhampton DV Forum, said: "Collectively we have prevented serious harm by enabling individuals suffering from domestic violence in all its forms to access help and support that they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of.  This community development work is well worth investing in.” 

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