Wednesday 13th June 2018 saw the official launch of Splitz latest venture in Wiltshire – The Phoenix Project. Phoenix is the new domestic abuse and sexual violence support service for Wiltshire and Swindon.
This event, held at Market Lavington Community Centre, was a celebration of the new Project and an opportunity for those working in the sector to find out exactly what we are offering. Some of the Commissioners of the new service were in attendance alongside Trustees from Splitz and Salisbury Women’s Refuge.
Our Executive Director, Fran Lewis, opened the morning by warmly welcoming everyone and outlining what was to follow.
Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services followed Fran. Laura gave us a brief insight into the volume of work in Children’s Social Care that involves domestic abuse – she had discovered that, within Wiltshire, approximately 80% of all case work will have an element of domestic abuse. This slightly scary statistic reflects the importance and necessity of good partnership working and finding innovative approaches to tackling an age old problem.
The Phoenix Project has co-located domestic abuse professionals working alongside our Social Care colleagues around the County.
As a Project we are working in Partnership with GreenSquare Group and Salisbury Women’s Refuge – providing a coordinated local response to domestic abuse.
Following Laura, each part of the Phoenix Service presented a brief explanation of their role in the Project and how professionals might access this.
SPA – Single Point of Access was introduced by Laura Burton – the Lead SPA Support Worker.
Lesley Lowe the Wiltshire Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Advisor introduced her new role and spoke about the work of our Domestic Abuse Family Support Workers.
Our new ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) colleagues and the work they do to support victims of sexual assault were introduced by Jacquie Owen, Lead ISVA. She also covered the difficult work they undertake with children and young people who have suffered sexual abuse.
Alex Pointing who manages the GreenSquare Refuges and Safe Spaces and the Manager of Salisbury Women’s Refuge, Sandra Horner, updated us about Refuge provision across the county and the introduction of self-contained units for victims of domestic abuse with complex or additional needs or male victims. This was greeted with much approval from all present.
Jackie Pennington, Lead IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) gave a brief description of the IDVA service and was thankful for the IDVA’s having come through the transition period without any changes.
Time was running away from us but Amanda Rothwell, our volunteer coordinator, gave a truly positive presentation explaining how victims of abuse are able to move forward in life with the emotional support from a Buddy volunteer and even move into training, education or work, through our Building Bridges service.
Before, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, summed up the morning for us, a couple of case studies were shared demonstrating some of the difficulties our service users have to overcome and the support the new Phoenix Project will be able to put in place for them. In his summation, Angus Macpherson reflected upon the positivity of the mornings message and how an integrated domestic abuse service will hopefully provide a more seamless and uniform service for victims across the county.
The morning rounded off with coffee and cake (kindly cooked and organised by Caroline Cutting) and an excellent opportunity for networking.