Rachel’s work over the last 15 years has been dedicated to tackling and responding to violence. Beginning with working in a refuge and as a domestic…
Rachel’s work over the last 15 years has been dedicated to tackling and responding to violence. Beginning with working in a refuge and as a domestic violence advocate for high risk victims, Rachel also developed the Violence against Women & Girls strategy for Birmingham, before working on the region violence and vulnerability agenda since 2013.
In 2015 Rachel project managed the launch of the West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance, accredited by the World Health Organization, which developed into the VRP in 2019.
Within the VRP, Rachel has a particular focus on violence prevention work with health partners and in health settings, and Rachel is passionate about supporting partners across the public sector in understanding how everyone can play an important part in helping our communities to be safe and healthy – everyone’s little can add up to a significant impact.
Outside work, Rachel is often found chasing the little ones round on bikes or up trees!
If you would like to contact Rachel, please email [email protected]
Serene is passionate about supporting young people to thrive and reach their full potential. A born and bred Londoner, Serene has worked in a variety…
Serene is passionate about supporting young people to thrive and reach their full potential. A born and bred Londoner, Serene has worked in a variety of schools, PRU’s and voluntary sector organisations, providing mentoring and coaching support to young people from variety of backgrounds and circumstances.
Serene has also managed a number of community projects aimed at increasing engagement and social cohesion. Serene is a qualified therapist and enjoys being at the heart of conversations about enhancing mental health and well-being for all.
Serene is a lover of scented candles and all things cosy!
If you would like to contact Serene, please email [email protected]
The VRP’s work with health partners includes:
The VRP has seconded an Emergency Medicine consultant for a day a week to support engagement with health partners on the role they can play in violence prevention. Whether providing training, writing clinical guidelines, sharing best practice or making links, our clinical lead is championing the health role in violence prevention.
The Serious Violence Duty mandates sharing of data relating to violence to help develop a fuller understanding of violence in an area to enable informed responses to be formed. The VRP oversees the sharing of data from Emergency Departments on injuries from assault, as well as hospital admissions due to assault, which includes details on time, location and assault type. This is compiled alongside police assault data.
Violence Prevention Programmes (Primary Care)
Primary Care services like doctors’ surgeries can play an important role in preventing violence. Local, community based healthcare has wide ranging access to people in local communities, and is trusted by communities as a reliable place of support. They are ideal places to identify early warning signs, and link people into support
IRIS is an excellent example of a programme which capitalises on the trust & access primary care has. The scheme involves staff in GP practices being trained in identifying domestic abuse and each practice is linked to a named domestic abuse worker which the practice can refer patients directly to. The work has improved our ability to identify abuse earlier on, and get people support quicker, reducing the amount of harm experienced.
Violence Prevention Programmes (Secondary Care)
Hospitals, including Emergency Departments, can play a crucial role in violence prevention. The VRP funds services based in a number of ED departments, providing specialist case workers to support patients where there are concerns about violence, exploitation or abuse, providing support at a critical moment in people’s lives. Often called a ‘reachable moment’, the point of needing medical attention can be the point that a victim or perpetrator of violence is ready to accept an offer of support. The VRP has previously funded the provision of domestic abuse advocates within hospitals, and continues to support partners in finding opportunities to implement work within hospitals.
Interventions in Early Childhood
Health visitors can contribute to violence prevention by promoting the importance of attachment and supportive relationships, promoting programmes which reduce parental conflict and support the development of parenting skills.
We visit a variety of different health networks to provide briefings and training inputs to support practitioners in understanding the role different health professionals can play in violence prevention, and ways of thinking about moving ‘upstream’.
We work closely with safeguarding teams in ICBs and NHS Trusts, where examples of work have included funding exploitation training for GPs, supporting a trauma informed practice project in a locality, providing guidance & support to launch hospital based domestic abuse services, and work to promote health equalities, including a 3 year programme in Birmingham & Solihull supported by University College London’s Institute of Health Equity.
If you are a professional…
The VRP has a rolling programme of free training for professionals across agencies to support you within your role.
If you are a health professional and would like to join our clinical network, overseen by Emergency Medicine Consultant & the VRP’s clinical lead, Dr Katie Wright, to receive occasional updates and the latest news, get in touch. If you want to find out more or see how you can get involved in preventing violence, please email: Rachel De Kam – [email protected]
We fund counselling and therapeutic support, provided by AVision, accessible for children and young people who are involved with Youth Offending services or in Alternative Education placements. If you are a professional working in one of these services, get in touch to find out more.
We fund clinical psychologist capacity to support frontline professionals from across agencies in working with young people with multiple needs and affected by youth violence
General Practices in the West Midlands all have access to the IRIS programme which provides training and a dedicated domestic abuse worker to support practices, now funded by the Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).
If you are a parent/community member…
The charity mind have a page of Useful contacts – young people’s mental health – Mind if you a concerned about the mental health of a young person
If you are a young person…
If you need to visit a hospital, you will find teams of specialist youth workers in a number of hospitals in the West Midlands, which the VRP provides funding for. They are there to help young people who attend hospital and may be experiencing problems relating to violence/ abuse/ exploitation. They can provide immediate and longer term support based around what the young person needs.
If you would like help with your mental health, the charity Mind have a page of Useful contacts – young people’s mental health – Mind