Trauma informed approaches

Improving the way that local systems and services work for people experiencing disadvantage, and those who have suffered trauma.

Through this four-year project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, we are looking at how best to embed trauma informed approaches into ways of working, and use this to influence policy and design of future commissioned programmes.

What we are doing

The project is looking at four key areas:

  • Safer Stronger Communities development: focus our capacity on measuring impact, action learning and research, creating a fundraising strategy and improving awareness of the network through branding and marketing.
  • Flexible Support Fund: supporting at least 20 people within the criminal justice system and their families or others affected, with one-off funding and support to improve their wellbeing, strengthen family relationships, and increase resilience. By addressing their multiple and complex needs, we will help break the cycle of offending.
  • Community involvement: strengthen our work within communities so that they can become more involved and have their say on what happens by helping to form and support two ‘communities in action’ groups, formed by local residents in the pilot areas of Newquay and Bodmin.
  • Strengthening partnership working: improve our collective ability to improve local provision through partnership events, training and community awareness-raising events.

Safer Stronger Communities development

Our aim is to develop greater resilience within the organisation and develop clear aims and objectives for our development over the next four years. This will improve our ability to support the communities in which we work, and gather stronger impact evidence to demonstrate our effectiveness. It will also improve the skills of our staff and trustees and help us involve more organisations beyond the network of existing partners.

The project is seeking to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Embed robust impact measures across all operational programmes and across the partnership.
  • Improve action learning data sets, research report and anonymised case studies.
  • Develop a fundraising strategy.
  • Develop a brand strategy and tone of voice guidance.
  • Develop skills to better utilise social media and other marketing strategies.
  • Conduct an external evaluation

Flexible Support Fund

This flexible pot of funding will be used to provide a range of support activities for people within the criminal justice system and their families or others affected. It will provide up to £1,200 to at least 20 participants or families in its first year.

Our holistic approach will provide bespoke pathways of support that will help participants to improve wellbeing, strengthen family relationships, and increase resilience to address and overcome multiple and complex needs and help break the cycle of offending. Anticipated outcomes include:

  • Better support for those within the criminal justice system, leading to reduced re-offending and reduction in crime rates.
  • Reduced risk of those displaying offending behaviours entering the criminal justice system.
  • Participants undertaking personal development and/or community based activities, and reporting more positive feelings/experiences.
  • Family and community better prepared to support inclusion, providing participants with more supportive community ties.
  • Breaking negative peer connections and increasing positive connections, sharing more positive experiences.
  • Participants and family members with improved mental and physical health.
  • Family members and ‘affected others’ taking part in delivery activities.

Community involvement

We will strengthen our work within communities by supporting two ‘communities in action’ groups, formed by local residents, in the pilot areas of Newquay and Bodmin.

We wish to engage at least 12 volunteers to work within their communities who will work with residents to identify issues they feel are most important to them, and develop solutions to address these. A flexible pot of funding will be held centrally and the community will make decisions on how this is used.

This responds directly to feedback from residents who stated that they wish to contribute more positively and be more empowered to take responsibility for what happens in their communities. Funding will be used to provide:

  • Support to groups to develop and write their own action plans.
  • Training and development opportunities.
  • Facilitated action learning workshops that give group members the tools needed to identify the issues and solutions.
  • A flexible pot of funding to support initiatives, activities and other events identified as priorities within the plan.

Strengthening partnership working

By developing and strengthening partnership working, we hope to be able to provide a more joined-up approach that makes better use of available funding, giving better value for money. We believe that by working together, we can simplify access to people who need support through a ‘no wrong door’ approach and improve local provision by offering better co-ordinated services that are more effective and reduce trauma. The project will include network events, and training and recruitment for VCSE organisations, providers and stakeholders, to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Improvement in ability to measure impact and returns on investment.
  • Improvement in partnership working leading to increased effectiveness and efficiency of services, better collaboration and sharing of information.
  • VCSE organisations and more people involved in trauma informed practice.
  • Better collaboration and partnership working, with improvements in measuring impact and sharing best practice and data.
  • Increased staff knowledge and skills, and improved staff wellbeing.