Partnership in Action – Helping Survivors of Domestic Abuse to Improve Their Wellbeing

Surviving well

Our collaboration was a great success bringing together the unique skills and abilities of each organisation meant that we were able to provide a holistic service to effectively tackle and provide a solution to our service users, who felt that the mental wellbeing programme was a most needed provision for all domestic abuse survivors.

Stefanie Burgess-Bryan, Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid

Summary

The Surviving Well pilot project ran July 2019- July 2020. It demonstrated clear benefits of partnership working in the third sector which was successful thanks to innovation funding from joint Strategic Commissioners in Bromley.

Key Points

  • Successful partnership between BTSE Associate Member and partner charity 
  • Innovation Funding awarded by local Strategic Commissioners 
  • Jointly designed and delivered
  • Impact report confirmed the “hunch”
  • Further funding secured

‘Surviving Well’ 

Surviving Well was an innovative community project based in Bromley, providing specialist outreach services to female survivors of domestic abuse, who were experiencing mild to moderate issues with their mental and physical wellbeing.

Need for something new

 18 months after the start of the Bromley Well Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, 40% of the total 1498 clients supported, had disclosed issues pertaining to some form of historical or current domestic abuse or violence they had experienced, either in childhood or adulthood. 

There was a clear need for something new to help presenting clients.

Innovation fund

The Bromley Well Innovation Fund is exclusively available to BTSE and its Associate Members as a testing ground for new, innovative services which align with Bromley Well’s overall aim of early intervention and prevention. 

A joint bid went in

Bromley Well’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and Associate Members, Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid, submitted a joint bid for funding to provide meaningful support to a minimum of 60 women through individual and group-based support sessions, to help survivors of domestic abuse work towards a state of improved wellbeing and recovery. 

Funding was awarded July 2019 – July 2020.

What was proposed?

  • Project steering group made up of members from BCWA and Bromley Well  
  • Planned to achieve 6 group sessions in one year, with final end of project event to bring survivors back together to discuss project  
  • Measuring of client progress using POWER forms and recovery stars 
  • Agreed performance monitoring would be quarterly, with narrative, dashboard and case studies 
  • Referrals to be accepted via Bromley Well and BCWA  
  • All clients assessed using Core-10 and DASH risk assessment  
  • Clients presenting with experiences of historical domestic abuse with mild to moderate symptoms would be eligible for group support
  • All clients presenting with current risk or severe mental illness would be redirected to alternative support services 

What was the impact of Surviving Well?

  • Surviving Well supported 122 female survivors of domestic violence and abuse to engage in individual and group-based support over a period of 4-8 weeks 
  • Survivors were provided with opportunities to connect with others with lived experience of domestic abuse and mental health issues, as well as professionals to explore coping strategies and prepare plans for the future 
  • 89% of participants reported feeling more confident and empowered about their future
  • 90% noted a marked improvement in their mental health and wellbeing as a result of participation 
  • Additional social and economic benefits were identified including volunteer involvement

Successful partnership

“Surviving Well” provided an opportunity for two local charities with different expertise and experience to work in close partnership together to develop specific interventions to support the clients accessing this new service. 

Both parties were 100% committed to approaching the project collaboratively as one team.

Joint working meant increased capacity within the delivery team, and greater opportunities to share knowledge and skills.

The quarterly project steering group ensured regular communication and joint decision-making around project planning, design, monitoring, reporting and improvement. 

Why did it work?

The BTSE model facilitates joint working at both strategic and operational level.

The Innovation Fund available for BTSE Associate Members and partners, meant funding was available to test out the service.

Existing relationships between the 2 charities were strengthened as a result.

It has provided other Associate Members with an example of successful partnership.

Further funding has been secured by BCWA as a result. 

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