Connect to Calan – July 2023
Message from our CEO
We have had a very exciting month as, on 20th July, we were honoured to meet with and welcome Her Majesty The Queen as part of a string of Royal engagements within Brecon. Her Majesty met Calan DVS representatives, refuge residents and their children in Brecon. Her Majesty praised Calan staff for their dedication, tireless efforts, and important work being done in creating a nurturing environment for survivors. Read more about Her Majesty’s visit here.Pictured with Her Majety The Queen are representatives from Calan DVS including (from left to right) Jessica Greene (Domestic Abuse Support Worker), Katie Samuel (Children and Young People Services Manager), Moyra Parfitt (Head of Operations), Sue Gardiner (Senior Specialist Domestic Abuse Support Worker/Trainer), Brid Kilmartin (Team Leader), Shakira Joyner (Chair), Jen Lawton (Trustee), Kathy Irwin (Area Service Manager), Michelle Whelan (Chief Executive), Natalie Hancock (Mid and West Wales Regional VAWDASV Advisor).
(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
We are also delighted to share the exciting news that Calan’s DVS’s Myriad Programme has been shortlisted in the Change Project of the Year category in the annual Charity Times Awards; and our Head of Operations, Moyra Parfitt has been shortlisted for Supporting Leader of the Year. These achievements are an outstanding endorsement of the both the work of our staff and Calan as an organisation. Fingers crossed for the ceremony which takes place in September.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who helped us reach our target of raising £10,000 in 10 months which we achieved in March as part of our 2022 10 Year anniversary celebrations. These funds make a huge difference to the young people we support. Though this challenge is now over, our fundraising efforts never stop and if you are able to support these efforts you can donate via our Just Giving Page here.
Best wishes and have a lovely summer.
New Calan DVS Programmes
We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you details and updates on some of the new Calan DVS programmes and projects as follows:
Dal I Godi
Calan DVS, along with four other specialist domestic abuse agencies, Carm DAS, Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre, Threshold DAS and West Wales Domestic Abuse Service collaborated earlier this year to form the Dal I Godi partnership which delivers Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) services across Dyfed Powys.
The specialist domestic abuse agencies that make up Dal I Godi have 148 years collective experience of delivering domestic abuse services. Dal I Godi’s focus is on the early intervention, prevention, protection, and support of individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse, using a service model that has been designed to ensure an efficient, safe, person-centred, needs-led, and holistic experience for each service user. Read more about this collaborative project here.
The Lotus Project
It’s been a year since our Sexual Violence Service Manager joined The Lotus Project and the service has grown from one staff member to four. We have seen an increase in internal referrals, all who have been in receipt of therapeutic support within four weeks of the referral being made.
Our sexual violence counselling service has provided over 200 counselling sessions in the past year, many of them being sessions in specialist trauma reprocessing like REWIND and EMDR.
We hired our first Sexual Violence Support Worker in November 2022 and now have a team of three dedicated and compassionate support workers offering up to 12 sessions of psychoeducational work with survivors of adult and childhood sexual abuse. Since November our team have supported 36 survivors for a 12-week period, who have all stated that they have a better understanding of their trauma and feel emotionally safer after receiving the support.
One survivor stated that “Life is good now, and I feel safe, secure, happy and in control.”
Another said, “I feel very lucky to have accessed this sort of support at what was a harrowing time to begin with. You’ve made a difference to my life and in turn, the life of my children at home too. Thank you”
In addition to our 1-1 and counselling provision, we have delivered our 12-week Lotus Group, which was co-produced with survivors, to two groups of survivors – each group providing us with valuable feedback for the development of the group and allowing us to be part of their own journey from abuse.
In between all of this incredible work, we have also been busy delivering training to Calan staff and external partners and have had the privilege to facilitate seven survivor consultations – ensuring that our branding, processes, and vision for the future is developed alongside the incredible people we support.
The Codi project is aimed at adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and their family. The word “Codi” means rise and Calan DVS is working in partnership with Cyfannol Women’s Aid and RASAC North Wales to deliver this essential new service for those in Wales who have been impacted by CSA.
The programme consists of:
- Structured Group Support through the delivery of trauma-informed formal group programmes that are evidence based.
- Unstructured Group Support through the delivery of group well-being activities ranging from well-being walks to art activities, to coffee mornings.
- Family Support Group. Survivors tell us that as the progress through their support they wish to tell those closest to them and recognise that their family need support too. A barrier is often that they want to keep their support (primarily through ISVA and Counselling provision) separate from their families; a monthly family support group enables this to happen.
- Awareness raising with local agencies on the needs of survivors who have experienced CSA.
The trial behaviour change intervention, REPROVIDE is successfully being delivered with men from across South Wales accessing groups on a weekly basis in Neath Port Talbot. We are no longer taking on new requests/referrals but are actively looking for funding to continue to deliver this programme from November, when our support groups come to a close. Read more about this programme here.
If you would like to find more information about other support groups for men who want to change their behaviour, please visit: www.respect.uk.net
Our Myriad Programme has been running for just over two years now. During Pride month in June 2023, we took the opportunity to share direct feedback from DA survivors within LGBTQ+ communities who have benefitted from Calan DVS’s Myriad programme as follows:
“I recommend the programme to anyone needed support and I would tell them not to be afraid, it’s a safe, comfortable space that puts you at the centre.” Read more from this survivor here.
“I’m panromantic/asexual, and nonbinary/agender. I’ve previously been a victim of both Childhood sexual abuse and Domestic abuse, been homeless, and fell into substance abuse as a way of coping with this. I found the Myriad programme helpful as it showed me, I wasn’t as alone and isolated as I often felt, and because it helped me to open up about both what I’d been through and what I was dealing with. That, in turn, helped me to embrace more positive and productive methods of processing my trauma and problems.
“I’m a lesbian, 23 years old living in Wales and I was in a domestic abusive relationship which led to me being informed of the Myriad course by my IDVA at the time. The programme has led to me starting trauma stabilisation therapy with Neath Port Talbot hospital as the Myriad course helped me to spot triggers and behaviours in the months after it did get forgotten as I found myself allowing and tolerating abuse as well as me realising how much I hadn’t processed nor accepted and had buried a lot of emotions. So, I’d say it was a great experience and has led to me finding further help and support due to mentally struggling. “
“I am a transman (AFAB) and pansexual and live in South Wales. I was told about Myriad from Calan after talking to Women’s Aid (this was before transitioning and moving to Calan). I have been through quite a lot of trauma. I found the programme extremely helpful and informative, the facilitator was friendly, inviting, welcoming and did not judge or discriminate and was completely accepting of everyone. Indeed, if it wasn’t for Myriad, I don’t believe I would have discovered my love for psychology and pursuing a career in therapy. I owe a lot to Myriad.”
Read more about the Myriad programme here.
We have a number of activities underway related to our Ar Trac programmes as follows:
- Ar Trac Volunteer Mentors
Would you like to make a difference to children and young people’s lives?
We are looking for volunteer mentors to work with Children and Young People in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend as part of our Ar Trac mentoring project.
Our mentors provide one to one support to Children and Young People who have experienced domestic abuse, giving them space away from the family home to focus on their own needs.
If you would like the opportunity to make a difference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more here.
- Gender Specific Group Work Programme
The Gender Specific Group work programme is for children and young people aged 11 – 16 who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse and who are feeling low confidence and self-esteem. The programme is a 10-week programme that aims to build self-esteem, communication skills and supports emotional development. Led by young people, it is based around a group project.
The programme is also used as a preventative tool for children and young people who may be at risk from domestic abuse, unhealthy relationships or engaging in risky / challenging behaviours.
Calan DVS are now open for referrals for Gender Specific Group Work in the Neath and Bridgend area. If you would like to make a referral or discuss the programme further please visit our website.
Support Provided by Calan DVS in 2022 – 2023
Over the past year our amazing staff have continued to deliver the much-needed services to victims/survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. During 2022-2023 the teams within Calan:
- Supported 99 women and 83 children and young people through our refuge accommodation.
- Supported 67 men through our community services and the Compass Programme.
- Supported 494 women through our community services.
- Supported 189 children and young people through our CYP services and programmes.
- Supported 68 female patients through the delivery of IRIS in Swansea Bay.
- Supported 198 high-risk male victims through our Male IDVA Provision.
- Provided specialist training to over 400 professionals across South, Mid and West Wales.
- Trained 173 medical professionals through the delivery of IRISi across Carmarthenshire and Swansea Bay.
- Provided 202 counselling sessions to victims of sexual violence.
- Developed 3 new initiatives to provide a range of support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
- Worked in 80 schools across our delivery areas
National Campaigns & Initiatives
Online Safety Bill
The #OnlineSafetyBill is set to replace current legislation that supports individuals with appealing decisions from online platforms about harmful online content. Make sure that these safeguards aren’t put at risk – please share this information and don’t lose your right to appeal. #NowhereToAppeal @saferinternetuk. The third reading of the Bill in the House of Lords will take place on 6 September 2023.
Violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence: strategy 2022 to 2026
Welsh Government’s Violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence strategy 2023 to 2025 includes plans on working with other organisations to tackle violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. The overall aim of this strategy is to make Wales the safest place to be a woman. Read more or download the full strategy document here.
The Regional VAWDASV Partnership Survey
Would you like to inform domestic abuse and sexual violence policy and services?
The Regional VAWDASV (Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence) Partnership has established a Survivor Advisory panel for Mid and West Wales.
The purpose of the panel is to bring together survivors and survivor voices, with statutory and provider agencies through a raft of opportunities to inform and influence policy and practice in the region. As experts by experience, the panel will provide a mechanism to ensure the needs of survivors are at the heart of VAWDASV service planning and delivery in Mid & West Wales.
The VAWDASV Partnership is inviting anyone with lived experience of violence against women, domestic abuse, or sexual violence to come and be involved. To find out more click here or email email@example.com.
Safe Communities Podcast
We’d like to share with you this Safe Communities Podcast published by Welsh Women’s Aid which discusses how bystanders can help to stop sexual harassment against women and girls.Click here to view podcast.
We currently have two important vacancies at Calan DVS with applications closing on Monday 31st July 2023. If you know of anyone who would be interested in these posts please direct them to the details on our website here.
Regional Manager based in Ammanford or Pembrokeshire
* Contract: Permanent
* Hours: 37.5 per week
* Salary: £34,000 – £36,000 depending on experience.
Sexual Violence Peer Support Worker based in Neath, Ammanford or Brecon.
22.5 hours per week – Fixed term to 2025
Salary: £21,000 per annum (pro rata) pay to be reviewed after 6 months
We will continue to update you on our news and projects over the coming months.
Please remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse support is available. #dontbeabystander #standwithsurvivors.
There are measures you can take to help victims – details below: