Portsmouth to receive share of £4.5m to help tackle social isolation

Portsmouth is to receive a share of nearly £4.5m government funding for an innovative scheme to help tackle social isolation.

Local charity The YOU Trust, supported by NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Portsmouth City Council, are one of just 23 programmes to receive funding from the Department of Health and Social Care Health and Wellbeing Fund.

The new service will be run by the trust and offer what is known as social prescribing – which aims to support people with a range of social, emotional or practical needs by improving their mental health and physical well-being.

Nicola Youern, the trust’s Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to bring this funding to Portsmouth and to work with GPs across the city to support the health and well-being of their patients. At a time when the NHS, local GPs and councils are facing enormous pressure, innovative approaches to public health are needed.

“People are experts in their own lives, but can become isolated because of health or other personal circumstances. This is all about empowering people to explore their options and decide on a plan that’s right for them.”

Cllr Matthew Winnington, the council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said: “The needs of our city are changing – social isolation has a huge impact on both individuals and health and social care systems.

“We’re thrilled that this scheme has secured funding. Not only will it make a difference to local people, it’s also an exciting opportunity for the statutory and voluntary sector to work together to build something better for the future.”

The service is expected to start this autumn and will build on the work achieved by the Action Portsmouth (a project run by Action Hampshire) signposting service, which has successfully signposted hundreds of people to a range of community resources that provide social, emotional or practical support, including art and dance groups, housing advice and lunch and gardening clubs.

Dr Linda Collie, the CCG’s Chief Clinical Officer, said: “We would like to formally thank Action Portsmouth for delivering this signposting service with such commitment over the last few years.

“GPs and other health and social care professionals will be able to refer patients to the service. The YOU Trust team will work with individuals to agree goals tailored to their needs – whether that’s attending a local luncheon club, learning a new skill or volunteering.”

New partnership to support families living with domestic abuse in West Sussex

Written by Safe Lives:

28th June 2018

National domestic abuse charity SafeLives and West Sussex County Council are pleased to be working with The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust to pilot new approaches in West Sussex to support individuals and whole families experiencing domestic abuse.   

We know, through our work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, that there are inconsistencies nationally in the support available for people experiencing domestic abuse. Over the next three years, this new partnership will trial innovative approaches, creating a much needed national database to fill the gaps in the response to domestic abuse and amplifying the voices of those who are rarely heard.

The partnership will focus on:

  • Support to stop situations escalating
  • Support for the complex needs many people have – often because of, or exacerbated by domestic abuse, such as substance misuse and mental ill health
  • Support for people who are still in their relationship or living with the perpetrator of abuse
  • Support for children and young people through specialist, age appropriate services
  • Support for survivors to recover from the harm, heal and build resilience

We recognise that nationally, services are often only able to respond to part of the picture around domestic abuse. At the heart of this pilot is a commitment to work in partnership with existing services across West Sussex to enhance the response for individuals and whole families.

The interventions will form a package of support, taking into account the needs of each person experiencing domestic abuse and offering a tailored response. The pilot will include training and guidance for professionals, enhancing skills and supporting agencies to work together to create a culture of engagement with the people and the communities they serve.

This work builds on SafeLives’ Beacon approach: creating lasting change by seeing the whole picture for the whole family.

SafeLives Chief Executive, Suzanne Jacob said: 

“We’re so pleased to be working with West Sussex County Council, The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust to trial these interventions in West Sussex and improve both local and national responses to domestic abuse. West Sussex is showing itself to be in the vanguard of meaningful change – refusing to accept that domestic abuse is inevitable or acceptable and recognising that what happens to the parent, happens to the child too. 

“We know that 85% of victims of domestic abuse seek help five times on average before they get effective help. This is four times too many. Too often the response to domestic abuse remains a postcode lottery. We owe it to victims, survivors and families to hear them as soon as they reach out, ensuring they receive a tailored response that meets their needs. 

“For the last two years we’ve worked incredibly hard, alongside our expert partners and hundreds of victims and survivors to identify some of the inconsistencies that exist nationally in the response to domestic abuse. The learning from this pilot will help us develop ways of reducing these inconsistencies so that every person affected by domestic abuse – no matter who they are, or where they live – can receive the right response to make them safe and well.  

“The appointment of The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust signals the next stage in the development of this work. We look forward to working together to help more victims, survivors and children become safe sooner.”

Jo Millward, West Sussex County Council Service Leader – Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help Service said: 

“The county council is delighted to be working with SafeLives and the other partners in this exciting project, which will complement the already established high-risk domestic abuse services that exist within West Sussex. 

“Safeguarding whole families from abuse is already one of the council’s key priorities and we are united with everyone involved in this project in our desires to identify anyone impacted by any form of abuse and to support them to receive the appropriate help they need. 

“We are excited that West Sussex is to be one of only two areas in the country to conduct this pilot, we hope the innovative research will help victims in West Sussex and eventually support families across the country.” 

 in partnership with  

Tonia Redvers, Head of Hidden Violence and Counselling at YOU said: 

“We were thrilled to be awarded the opportunity to deliver this project in West Sussex. YOU have been delivering services addressing domestic violence and abuse for over 30 years and this is a wonderful opportunity to develop a new team to deliver an innovative response to victims, survivors, children and perpetrators of domestic abuse.  

“We are equally thrilled that our consortium bid with Aurora and Hampton Trust was the winning bid as we have worked together with proven outcomes over many years. Both our consortium partners have been involved in the development of SafeLives’ Beacon approach: Aurora New Dawn were an expert partner supporting SafeLives in the research and development of this project, while The Hampton Trust are currently working with SafeLives in West Sussex to deliver Drive, a pilot project to challenge and hold high harm perpetrators to account for their behaviour. This new project has given us the opportunity to bring to West Sussex our combined expertise and to work closely with existing services to deliver these researched interventions to address domestic violence and abuse. 

“We know that a whole family approach, working with women, men and children, whether they are victims or perpetrators is vital to create a safe environment for individuals and families to improve outcomes and help people thrive.” 

This project would not be possible without substantial funding from West Sussex County Council, Big Lottery Fund Women and Girls Initiative and further funding from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Peter Cundill Foundation and The Aurum Charitable Trust.