Fifteen YMCA employees have been trained as ‘Champions’ after Merseyside’s Police Commissioner held the first Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme training course for a single organisation.
Jane Kennedy arranged the dedicated training for YMCA Liverpool and Sefton to equip the organisation with a greater awareness and understanding of employees who may be affected by domestic abuse and equip the Champion’s with the skills to support colleagues who may at risk of abuse or violence.
It is the first time the Commissioner has hosted one of the five-day Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme training courses for a single organisation. Among the staff who volunteered to take the training were YMCA Liverpool and Sefton’s hostel managers, refuge staff, mental health workers and support staff. The organisation’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of HR were also among those who trained as ‘Champions’.
Jane said: “I’m delighted that YMCA Liverpool and Sefton have so enthusiastically engaged with this scheme. By putting forward 15 fantastic volunteers to take this training, they have demonstrated a huge commitment to their staff’s wellbeing and welfare and to tackling domestic abuse.
“The British Crime Survey estimates that one in four women and one in eight men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Given the nature of the work carried out by YMCA Liverpool and Sefton supporting and caring for people who are potentially vulnerable and may have complex needs, their staff are more likely than most to work with men and women who are at risk of domestic abuse. I hope this training gives them the knowledge, skills and confidence to listen and provide a safe response and effective support to anyone who may be in need.
“As a social housing provider, the YMCA are also in a crucial position to provide a safe place for people to talk about their situation, make sense of it and gather information to make an informed decision about what they want to do. That means their staff can play a hugely important role in helping to support someone who may be suffering and even help them to break free from an abusive, controlling or potentially violent relationship.
“I’d like to thank YMCA Liverpool and Sefton for their commitment to providing a safe environment for their staff and the people they support. By volunteering so many of their staff to take this training they are sending out a clear message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated. Huge thanks and congratulations to all our newly-trained ‘Champions’ – your willingness to give up your time to offer help and support others at a time of need is invaluable. It could even save a life.”
Any organisation which commits to joining the Commissioner’s free Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme is provided with an extensive domestic abuse policy, a toolkit and materials to promote the scheme within their offices and five days of free training for members of staff who volunteer to become workplace ‘Champions’.
This training equips their staff with the skills to spot the signs of possible abuse, offer practical and emotional support and ensure colleagues who are at risk are directed to outreach workers or specialist support where needed. The newly-trained ‘Champions’ will join a network of volunteers across Merseyside who are enabled to spot the signs of abuse and support colleagues to get help.
Ellie McNeil, CEO of YMCA Liverpool & Sefton said: “We are really pleased to work with the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme, we seek to ensure that YMCA is a place of safety not just for the people who use our services but also for our staff and volunteers and our team of workplace Champions will use their training to help us do that. We see the impact of domestic abuse on a daily basis and we understand just how much the Workplace scheme is needed.”
YMCA Liverpool & Sefton is a registered charity, a registered provider of social housing and company Limited by Guarantee. Founded in 1846, the organisation has built on a long history of providing a place for people to find acceptance, community and activity and now provides accommodation, family work, health and wellbeing, and training and education services. Find out more here.
Could your organisation be next?
For more information about the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Workplace scheme, please click here.
Or please contact the Scheme Coordinator Malka Livingstone on 0151 777 5155 or by email at [email protected]