This is our final blogpost of 2017 and what a year it has been for LimeCulture!
As another exciting and busy year comes to a close, the LimeCulture team are reflecting on our successes but also thinking about the things we would like to achieve together in 2018.
2017 has seen the LimeCulture Core Team increase in size to a team of 10. We have been busy this year with ongoing and new projects dominating our ever-increasing workloads. But the team are strong and effective, and every one of them brings a unique skill set that adds to our collective success. We expect to expand again in 2018, so look forward to new members joining the team.
During this past year, we have achieved so many great things as an organisation. Our work is varied and interesting, and we are incredibly grateful for the range of projects we are asked to be involved with.
Our continued work around ISVAs is important to us as an organisation, and we are grateful for the support services who continue to choose LimeCulture to provide the training to their ISVAs. Our training team, lead by Bernie Ryan OBE, have been busy all year training ISVAs. They have delivered the ISVA Development Programmes to 4 full cohorts of new ISVAs this year- each course with fantastic feedback. They have also delivered separate Advanced Development Programmes to 2 full cohorts of experienced ISVAs and in November, they delivered another workshop for ISVA Managers- again with much praise from delegates.
We continued to support the ISVA workforce throughout 2017 and the role out of the Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment we developed especially for ISVAs to assist them to identify, monitor and manage their clients’ risk and needs has been positively received, with excellent feedback from ISVA services who tell us that it has had a significant impact on the way they manage their cases. This year, at a national level we have worked with the Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service and Home Office to assist them in understanding the ISVA role. At a local level, we have worked with a range of local commissioners, including from NHS, Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Authorities to understand the importance of commissioning ISVA services.
The National ISVA Conference on 28 September was a huge success with over 100 attendees and a range of excellent speakers joining our annual “Knowledge and Network Event”. Once again, the LimeLight Awards raised the profile of individual ISVAs, ISVA Teams and Managers for the excellent work they do in support of victims of sexual violence.
ISVAs aside, this year we have also trained over 50 Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) across Greater Manchester and Cumbria to enable them to effectively support their clients who have experienced sexual violence in the domestic setting. Although as an organisation we are clear in our views that the role of IDVA and ISVA are distinct, and should not be combined, we do think it important for both sets of professionals to have specific knowledge and skills in order to properly support those who have experienced sexual violence in a domestic setting or an intimate relationship.
The launch in 2015 of our new Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) Development Programme – following our work with Keele University, Greenwich University and Universities UK to improve the response to sexual violence within the university setting – has seen an explosion of interest from universities across the UK wishing to adopt the SVLO Model to ensure an institution-wide response to sexual violence. This year we have delivered the SVLO Development Programme to 3 full cohorts, with SVLOs being put in place in 19 separate universities across England and Scotland (where they have adopted the name Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officer for their specially trained staff) . We have also run a series of development days and bespoke training for a number of universities to help them with their roles and responsibilities to support students and staff, their organisational responses, implementing appropriate policies and procedures and how best to manage disclosures of sexual violence. Next year, we expect to see a significant increase in our work in this important area.
Our work around supporting Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) has continued this year with a bespoke training package developed especially for the staff at the Havens, the Sexual Assault Referral Centres for London. We have also worked with NHS England Commissioners in the East of England to develop a service specification for a talking therapies services for SARC-users. Our training team continue to provide bespoke training to SARC staff, including Crisis Workers, and we look forward to meeting the SARC teams we are training in the new year. We are also looking forward to continuing our work with the Forensic Science Regulator for England and Wales to bring in new standards for the forensic medical examination of child and adult victims following sexual assault.
We have been commissioned by a number of local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) this year to undertake independent reviews of local sexual violence services. In Gloucestershire and Devon and Cornwall, we have recently carried out independent reviews of their local ISVA services, in Nottinghamshire we carried out some independent research to identify what local support services for victims/survivors of sexual violence should look like moving forward. In North Yorkshire we are part way through an independent review of their county-wide ISVA service, their adult SARC and their paediatric SARC. We look forward to continuing with this work next year.
This year, partnership working has once again played a key focus of our work. Our relationships with other like-minded organisations is important to us. This year we have continued to work in partnership with the Premier League, delivering our bespoke ‘Respect Programme’ to the academy players in the top 20 football clubs. We have also delivered a series of safeguarding training events to Premier League staff this year too.
In April, LimeCulture and SceneSafe, who has been at the centre of sexual assault forensic development since 1997, have jointly launched the ‘SAFE Programme’. The programme allows Governments outside of the UK access to technical support, forensic equipment, analysis and training to improve local responses to sexual assaults. Together, LimeCulture and SceneSafe launched this exciting new international programme in April, when we were invited to speak at the Forensic Science Expo’s in both Dubai and London.
Our work in partnership with the Male Survivors Partnership has been a highlight of 2017. Funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation, we have worked extensively to research and develop new quality standards for services supporting male victims/survivors of sexual violence to ensure that the needs of males can be met effectively by local services. These new standards are set to be launched in early 2018 alongside a comprehensive accreditation, monitoring and support process.
Unfortunately, we are unable to disclosure all of the work we have been involved in this year due to the sensitive or confidential nature of some important projects. However, we have been absolutely privileged to work in partnership with some wonderful organisations and professionals this year, who share our goal to improve the response to sexual violence.
This year has seen us be invited to speak at a range of conferences, events and meetings. Our highlight occurred in June, when our joint Chief Executives, Stephanie Reardon and Kim Doyle, were invited to speak to the United Nations in Geneva about the response to domestic and sexual violence in the UK. It was a great privilege to be recognised for our expertise and absolutely fascinating to meet colleagues from other counties and learn how they respond to domestic and sexual violence.
This blogpost includes a snapshot of some of the work we have done in 2017, which has without doubt been another great year for LimeCulture. We would like to thank each and every one of our customers, friends and partners. We cannot express how grateful we are for your support.
We are excited about 2018 – we have so much planned that we can’t wait to share with you in the new year!
We wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.
The LimeCulture Core Team