…and breathe. LimeCulture is back to blogging!

We are sorry to say that a few months have passed since we last posted a blog. The only excuse that we have is this… since our last blog post back in July, here at LimeCulture we have been absolutely and utterly snowed under!

Over the summer months and into much of the autumn there has been precious little time for anything over and above keeping up with all the exciting stuff that has been going on here at LimeCulture….let alone keeping up to date with blog posts. So huge apologies for our silence! Now that we have more capacity, we will make a concerted effort to stay on top of our blogging! We really are keen to keep everyone in the loop with what we are getting up to, so from now on, we’ll try to stay on top of the blog. Promise.

So why have we been so busy over the last few months? Well, mainly things have become crazy recently because we took a decision to increase the number of courses that we are running! The demand for our training has grown from strength to strength over the last few years so we really wanted to focus on increasing the number of courses so that we were not leaving anybody disappointed.. We are so pleased with the increased demand for our courses, and we are so proud that so many people want to attend our training! We spend a lot of time reviewing the content and monitoring our courses to make sure they are as good as they can possibly be. Ensuring that all our material is up-to-date and inclusive of current thinking and practice from around the world is really important to us. Its time consuming but its definitely worth doing to make sure that we really do have the best courses on offer.

photo 3So back in July (our last blog post) we wrote about the fact that bookings were open for the 7th ISVA Development Programme. Our 7th course was an additional course that had been added to try and meet the demand from ISVAs who wanted to attend as our 6th course (which started in May 2014) had been fully booked. Well, by the end of July, the additional course was fully booked too with still more ISVAs wanting to attend a course! We made a decision to add another additional course to our 2014/2015 training programme, our 8th ISVA Development Programme- which by the way is also fully booked! So to cut a long story short, we are running 3 separate ISVA Development Programmes together in order to meet the demand (our 6th, 7th and 8th courses since 2011). This takes a lot of time and effort and due to the restrictions that the Home Office put in place for the ISVAs whose training they are funding, they all have to complete the training by the end of the financial year! So we are currently working with 66 ISVAs who are attending one of the 3 ISVA Development Programmes that we have underway! It is fantastic though and we are enjoying every minute we spend with the ISVAs. These 3 cohorts are brilliant to work with, the questions and scenarios they ask us really keep our trainers on their toes! We’ve had some brilliant discussions and suggestions for how they would like to see the role of the ISVA develop and evolve over time.

We are about to start planning our ISVA Development Programme for 2015/16, so we will let you know about the new dates over the coming months!


photo 1July also saw us deliver the first ever Advanced Development Programme (ADP) for ISVAs, a 3-day continued professional development course that is intended to provide vital ongoing training for experienced ISVAs. The focus of this training is providing effective support for men and boys who have experienced sexual violence (unit 1a), providing effective support for sex workers who have experienced sexual violence (unit 1b), working with young women who have been affected by gangs (unit 2a), working with victims who have been sexually exploited (unit 2b) and responding effectively to people with mental health problems who have experienced sexual violence (unit 3).

This course was attended in July by 12 experienced ISVAs from across the country and it went fantastically well! The ISVAs loved it and the feedback they provided about the course was outstanding. They loved our wonderful trainers (Duncan Craig from Survivors Manchester, Alex Feis-Bryce from National Ugly Mugs, Abigail Billinghurst from Abianda and Dr Sam Warner who is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and part-time fellow at Manchester Metrolitan University). We are thrilled that the trainers got such wonderful feedback from the ISVAs because as a training and development organisation, this is the most important thing for us to get right.

As a result of the successful ADP, we have agreed to include this course in our regular training programme. The next ADP is set for February 2015 and amazingly, is already fully booked with 25 ISVAs booked to attend.  A further ADP course will be held later in 2015, with the dates to be announced in the new year. We are already operating a waiting list for this course, so ISVAs who are keen to attend should ask to be added to the waiting list so as to avoid disappointment. All our courses have maximum numbers, so once they are full, we will not increase the number of places for that course to preserve the quality of the training.

We want to make it very clear to everybody that the ADP is intended as continued professional development for experienced ISVAs. Importantly, it is not intended to replace the ISVA Development Programme or equivalent professional ISVA training. Therefore, ISVAs who have not completed their professional ISVA training will not be eligible to attend this course. We have received a number of new ISVAs who have not yet completed their professional ISVA training but who are wanting to attend the ADP instead of the ISVA Development Programme. We think it is important that they should not be accepted on to the course until they have completed the full ISVA Development Programme or equivalent professional ISVA training.

To add to our increase in courses, we’ve also been quite busy with our bespoke training, which is training that is delivered in-house to meet the specific needs of the staff of a particular service who are being trained. For example, we deliver a lot of Crisis Worker training for Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) up and down the country. The bespoke nature of our training means that we are able to tailor the training to meet the exact needs of the staff. Over the last few months, we have been commissioned to deliver bespoke training to the following SARCs, Bedfordshire SARC- the Emerald Centre, Cambridgeshire SARC- Oasis@Riverside, Hertfordshire SARC – Sunflower Centre, Suffolk SARC- The Ferns,  Norfolk SARC – The Harbour Centre. We have provided bespoke training for other SARCs across the UK over the last few years too. Given LimeCulture’s roots in the development and delivery of SARCs, the training of SARC staff is part of our work that we hold very dear to us.

So this blog is a bit of an excuse as to why we’ve neglected our blog. I hope it is a useful insight into what we have been getting up to since the summer! On top of the work we have been doing on our Training Programmes, we’ve also been really busy with work on our Development Programmes and our Research Programmes over the last few months too. We are itching to tell you about this, but will save those updates for another blog post for another day!!


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LimeCulture is the leading provider of ISVA training having now trained over 180 ISVAs since 2011. For further information about the training available visit our website https://www.limeculture.co.uk/training-development/ or email info@limeculture.co.uk