LimeLight Awards. And the winner is….

The National ISVA Conference ‘Knowledge & Network’, hosted by LimeCulture took places yesterday (28 September 2015) in Manchester. It was a fantastic event with 120 ISVAs coming together from across England and Wales to  share knowledge, learn about topics that affect their practice and network with their peers.

LimeCulture used the opportunity of having so many ISVAs together in one room to hold the award ceremony of the first ever LimeLight Awards. Through the introduction of the LimeLight Awards, LimeCulture seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individual ISVAs, ISVA Teams and ISVA Managers who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence through their work.

Member of Parliament Keir Starmer QC congratulated the shortlisted nominees and announced the winner of each category (once 120 ISVAs had finished banged their hands on the table to create the sound of a drum roll!). The winners were invited to the stage, where they were presented with their LimeLight Award – to lots of applause and cheers from the audience of ISVAs.

Award 1: Outstanding Achievement by an ISVA Supporting Adults went to Yehudis Goldsobel, from Migdal Emunah.

Alison Pemberton, Member of the LimeCulture Independent Advisory Board, said of the winner Yehudis Goldsobel “The three shortlisted nominees for this award are outstanding, but the winner of this category is truly exceptional. In a uniquely challenging community, she has made significant progress”.

Photo: Yehudis Goldsobel, Migdal Emunah © 2016 by Geoff Reardon Photography

Award 2: The Vicky Bardsley Prize: Oustanding Achievement by an ISVA Supporting Children & Young People went to Helen Leach  of RASA Merseyside.

“The contenders for this category are all truly amazing. The winner of this award has set up an entire new service for children and young people from scratch – a superb achievement”.

Photo: Helen Leach, RASA Merseyside © 2016 by Geoff Reardon Photography

Award 3: Exceptional ISVA Team went to RSVP Advocacy Service

All these teams do wonderful work and put in enormous beyond-the-call-of duty effort and care to the people they are supporting in their caseloads. However, one team has had a particularly difficult extra challenge this year which they have pulled together to meet in tragic and trying circumstances. They are a team who lost one of their number to cancer and yet still managed to absorb that person’s workload and make sure that no-one in their area went unsupported”

Photo: RSVP Advocacy Service © 2016 by Geoff Reardon Photography

Award 4: Inspirational ISVA Manager went to Rebecca Hitchin of RASASC, South London. Sadly, Rebecca was unable to collect her award in person due to being unwell.

LimeCulture would like to thank everybody who nominated an ISVA, an ISVA Team or an ISVA Manager to make the very first LimeLight Award a great success! We would also like to say congratulations to the other 8 individuals ISVAs and Teams who were shortlisted for the awards across all 4 categories- a fantastic achievement in itself due to the quality of the services provided by the 320+ ISVAs and 100+ ISVA Teams working across the UK.

Keir Starmer MP QC, chairing the event said that ISVAs are ‘Life Savers and Life Changers’ and truly deserved to have the vital work that they do in support of victims and survivors of sexual violence recognised. Keir Starmer said of the LimeLight Awards ‘This is a wonderful way of rewarding the work of exceptional ISVAs’.

Photo: Keir Starmer MP QC stands with the winners of the LimeLight Awards 2016 winners © 2016 by Geoff Reardon Photography






LimeLight Awards: Shortlisted Nominations Announced

Through the introduction of the LimeLight Awards, LimeCulture seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individual ISVAs, ISVA Teams and ISVA Managers who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence through their work. We believe that ISVAs deserve to be properly recognised for the important, challenging and professional work they do to support those who have experienced sexual violence. The LimeLight Awards are intended to be a first step in the direction of professional recognition of ISVAs and their services.

We are delighted by the response we have received from ISVAs and other professionals following the introductions of the LimeLight Awards and as a result, we have received a large number of nominations in each of the four categories.

All of the categories have now been carefully considered as part of the shortlisting process, which was completed in two stages; an initial sift (which selected 6 nominations in each category) and a final sift (which selected 3 nominations from the initial sift in each category). These two stages were conducted independently of one another and by different members of the LimeCulture Core Team so as to be as fair and objective as possible.

The following nominations have been shortlisted:

Award 1: Outstanding Achievement by an ISVA Supporting Adults

  1. Ady Lowe- Victim Support West Yorkshire
  2. Marta Almeida- Solace Women’s Aid
  3. Yehudis Goldobel – Migdal Emunah


Award 2: Vicky Bardsley Prize: Oustanding Achievement by an ISVA Supporting Children & Young People

  1. Margaretta Vauls – RSVP
  2. Jodie Lowndes – Crisis Point
  3. Helen Leach – RASA Merseyside


Award 3: Exceptional ISVA Team

  1. New Pathways Swansea ISVA Team
  2. Refuge Thames Valley ISVA Team
  3. RSVP ISVA Team


Award 4: Inspirational ISVA Manager

  1. Rebecca Hitchin – RASASC, South London
  2. Sally Howells – Cyfannol Women’s Aid
  3. Sarah Staverley – Amethyst SARC


The shortlisted nominations will be reviewed by Mrs Alison Pemberton who is a member of LimeCulture’s Independent Advisory Board. Alison has been given the responsibility of selecting the winner of each category, which will be announced at the National Conference for ISVAs ‘Knowledge and Network’ on Wednesday 28 September 2016.

We would like to congratulate each individual/Team/Manager that has been shortlisted for a LimeLight Award. With the existence of such a committed and dynamic ISVA workforce, to be nominated for a LimeLight Award is a great achievement and testament to the professionalism of each of them.

We would also like to thank everybody who took the time to nominate an ISVA, ISVA Team or a Manager for a LimeLight Award. It is clear that there are a whole range of individuals, teams and Managers providing excellent services throughout the country. From reading the impressive nomination forms, is clear to us at LimeCulture that all of the nominees are truly appreciated by others, whether it be peers, colleagues, managers and/or the people that you support. Well done to you all!



The 4 Winners of the (first) 2016 LimeLight Awards will be announced at a special ceremony taking place at the National Conference of ISVAs ‘Knowledge & Network’ on 28 September 2016.

LimeCulture Invites ISVAs to Consultation Workshops in October 2016

Development of a Risk & Needs Assessment Tool for ISVAs: LimeCulture invites ISVAs to Consultation Workshops in October 2016

LimeCulture Community Interest Company (CIC) are aware that there is currently no risk and needs assessment tool for victims of sexual violence available. Consequently, in some cases, ISVAs are not carrying out any form of risk or needs assessment with their clients leading to potentially unsafe practice.

LimeCulture CIC has been awarded a funding grant of £37,500 from the Home Office Victims Support Fund to develop a bespoke Sexual Violence Risk and Needs Assessment Tool for use by Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) working across England and Wales in support of victims and survivors of sexual violence. Once developed and tested, this bespoke Tool will be available (free of charge) to all ISVAs.

We are keen to consult with ISVAs in the development of the new bespoke Tool to ensure that it is:

  • fit for purpose (i.e., identifies individual risk and needs of victims/survivors of sexual violence),
  • meets the needs of ISVAs,
  • dovetails with existing tools used by ISVAs to measure risk or need.

As part of the development phase of the project, we are arranging 2 Consultation Workshops during October 2016 in order to consult with ISVAs on their views and suggestions around:

  • optimum scope of the bespoke Tool (i.e., what should be included, not be included)
  • look and feel of the Tool (and accompanying Toolkit)
  • how best the bespoke Tool is used/rolled out.

We will be holding workshops in the following locations:

  • Manchester – Wednesday 5 October 2016- 2-5pm
  • London- Wednesday 12 October 2016- 2-5pm

If you would like to attend, please email who will send you the location details. Places are limited and therefore will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so we advise you to confirm your attendance as soon as possible with Tahera. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with travel costs so please check with your employer/manager before you confirm your attendance.

Risk & Needs Assessment Tool Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is LimeCulture developing a bespoke Risk and Needs Assessment Tool for ISVAs?

A. We know that ISVAs do not have access to a bespoke tool that allows them to identify the individual risk and needs of their clients. As a consequence, we are aware from the Audit of ISVAs (conducted by King’s College London & LimeCulture in 2014/5) that many ISVAs do not feel confident that they are adequately risk assessing their clients. ISVAs routinely tell us that this is of concern to them. ISVAs have been asking us to develop a bespoke Tool designed for ISVAs to use when supporting victim/survivors of sexual violence for a number of years. This funding provides us with the opportunity to do this work for the first time.

 Q. Will ISVAs be able to contribute to the development of the Tool?

A. Absolutely. LimeCulture want to consult with ISVAs throughout the development phase of the bespoke Tool to make sure that it works for ISVAs. Our key priority is to make sure that the tool is fit for purpose, and works for the people that will use it. Therefore, we are keen for ISVA’s to share their ideas with us and tell us their views. The purpose of the two Consultation Workshops is to provide ISVAs with the opportunity to do that.

Q. Why are the Consultation Workshops in London and Manchester (& will there be any more)?

A. We know that unless ISVAs are based in the cities where the workshops are taking place that most people will have to travel to attend the workshops, which can be challenging. Therefore, we have picked Manchester (in the north) and London (in the south) based on their great travel connections. The funding for this project only allows for 2 workshops so we cannot hold more in other locations unfortunately.

Q. Can I contribute to the development if I can’t attend the Workshops?

A. Absolutely. Even if you are unable to attend the workshops in person, we would love to hear your views on what the tool should include. You can contact us by email ( or you can post on the closed Facebook group ‘Network of ISVAs’ (

Q. LimeCulture has put out a ‘Call for Tools’, why?

A. While we know that the majority of ISVAs do not currently use any bespoke tools to assist them to identify or manage individual risk and client needs, we are also aware that some ISVAs have either adapted existing tools (such as DASH risk assessment) or have created their own tools or paperwork. We want to ensure that the bespoke Tool that we develop dovetails to any tools that ISVAs are already working with. We do not want to create something that means that ISVAs services have to overhaul their systems in order to implement it. We want to make the Tool as good as it can be and if ISVAs are already using something that works well, then we’d like to ensure that it is not lost or forgotten.

Q. LimeCulture got the funding for the development but by asking ISVAs to share their tools does this mean the hard work has already been done for them?

A. We have been funded  to consult with ISVAs in the development of the Tool, which includes reviewing and assessing the existing tools that ISVAs use. We know that some ISVA services have worked hard to develop the tools they use, and we appreciate this, but we do not think the work has already been done. Quite the contrary, the majority of ISVAs do not have access to bespoke tools at all and where ISVAs have developed their own they tell us they are not sure they are as good as they can be. However, we do think it is important that the bespoke Tool that we develop dovetails with tools that are already being used. We want to capture the hard work that some ISVAs services have already put in to developing their own tools, not disregard it or steal it. Where ISVA Services share their tools with us, they will be acknowledged but we will not make their tools available to others unless they want us to.

Q. Will the Tool be tested?

A. Yes it will be tested by ISVAs. Once we are a bit further into the development phase, we will start looking for “pathfinder sites’, which are volunteer ISVA Services to test the Tool with their clients. Only after the testing phase will we make the tool available to all ISVAs.

Q. Will the Tool be formally evaluated?

A. We are engaging with academics in order to arrange for the Tool to be formally evaluated. The formal evaluation is not funded as part of this project but we are keen to see that it happens and have developed plans to put this in place later on.

Q. When will the Tool be available to use by all ISVAs?

A. We expect the Tool to be available from Spring 2017- so our timeframe is short. As soon as the testing phase has been completed and we are content that it is ready for use by all ISVAs, we will make it available.

Q. Will ISVAs be supported to use the risk and needs assessment?

A. Yes, we will be running regional training events to support ISVAs to use the risk and needs assessment. We will also be developing a written toolkit which will support ISVAs to use the Tool.

Q. Will ISVAs be forced to use to the Tool?

A. No of course not. It is entirely voluntary. However, we believe that most ISVAs will want to use it if it assists them to identify and manage the individual risks of their clients.

Q. Will ISVAs have to pay to use the Tool?

A. No, this funding allows for the Tool to be rolled out free of charge. LimeCulture CIC is a not-for-profit organisation so do not conduct any of our work for commercial purposes. This includes the development of the Tool. We want it to be free for all ISVAs to use.

LimeCulture Commissioned by Male Survivors Partnership UK to develop new Service Standards

LimeCulture Community Interest Company (CIC) is delighted to be working in partnership with the Male Survivors Partnership UK, which includes Mankind, Safeline, Survivors Manchester and Survivors UK, to develop distinct service standards for working with males who have experienced sexual violence.

Commissioners and funders are increasingly recognising the importance of service providers being able to properly evidence the quality of their services. As part of this measure of quality, it is routinely expected that service providers show that they can meet and maintain the relevant service standards for their particular sector.

Service standards are an important element of service management. They help clarify expectations for service users and employees, enable performance management, and support client satisfaction. Over time, service standards contribute to enhancing coherence across the range of services that achieve them. By setting national benchmarks, we can begin to ensure equitable standards of service provision between service providers and across different geographical locations by driving up standards of performance through effective monitoring.

For the specialist sexual violence sector, there are currently two separate national service standards that have been created by two distinct umbrella organisations (Rape Crisis England & Wales and The Survivors Trust) for use by their member organisations. However, these service standards are not available to non-members of these organisations. Furthermore, neither of these service standards are specific to the needs of males and therefore do not reflect or recognise the distinct provision that is required in order to properly support males in the aftermath of rape, sexual assault or sexual exploitation.

Due to the inadequacy of these existing service standards for services supporting males, it is currently not possible to provide evidence of the quality of their services by meeting and maintaining specific service standards that relate to and provide a benchmark for this important specialism.

In light of this gap, and recognising that they are currently unable to evidence the quality of their service provision for males, four specialist organisations providing support to males approached LimeCulture CIC to request they work in partnership to create a set of new service standards that relate specifically to the provision of care and support for male victims and survivors of sexual violence.

The purpose of the new service standards for supporting males is to:

  • Provide a quality benchmark for services supporting males,
  • Create equitable service provision between providers and across geographical locations for males who have experience sexual violence (by eliminating a postcode lottery in service provision),
  • Continue to drive up standards of service provision through effective monitoring.

The new service standards will be wide ranging and will benefit:

  • Service users – who can expect a level of service that is clearly described,
  • Organisations – who can monitor their own performance against the quality benchmark (i.e. the service standards),
  • Commissioners – who can be satisfied that the services they commission meet and maintain a set of standards that are bespoke to working with males.

To this end, it is crucial that the new service standards for supporting males will be evidence based. This will mean they will be informed by

  • research literature in this specialist area,
  • service user’s involvement and
  • specialist service provider experts who can share their experience of what works well in relation to supporting males.

The new service standards will also acknowledge that in addition to the small number of male only specialist services, there is an increasing number of support services who provide specialist support for both males and females. It is an important principle that a male seeking support following a sexual assault, should have equitable support, whether they access a male only services or whether they access a service that also provides for females too. Ideally, the standards of service should be the same regardless of where the male access support. To this end, these new service standards will address also address the provision of service to male provided by services who also support females.


Services supporting males who would like further information about the development of the new service standards can contact either LimeCulture directly or any one of organisations that make up the UK Male Survivors Partnership- we’d be happy to share our plans with you!