VERU in View - October
Good afternoon and thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this month’s edition of VERU in View. We can only start this month in one place, with the release of our first ever independent evaluation report.
This reflection on our work last year is hugely positive and recognises the major difference we have made in responding to violence and exploitation in Bedfordshire. I could not be prouder of the VERU team, who have overcome many challenges in getting to this stage and this report is fitting recognition of their efforts. None of this would have been possible without so much help, support and guidance from our partners and communities right across Bedfordshire.
The people we work with reported the VERU having a significant impact on improving the support networks around them and their families, by coordinating an effective multi-agency response for those in need. Our trauma informed and person centred approach, as well as putting experts by experience at the frontline of our delivery model, were also highlighted by our independent evaluators.
The case studies featured in the report, their response to our service and feedback on how we helped them are a particular source of pride in the report. I was also pleased to see that the views of all stakeholders interviewed for the report were described as “uniformly positive”. You can read a full copy on the report, which we have uploaded to our website.
The report vindicates what I and hopefully all of you as trusted stakeholders already recognise – that the VERU has made a major contribution to coordinating and improving the multi-agency response to violence and exploitation here in Bedfordshire, as well as putting credible and authentic professionals on the frontline of this response. We have also taken on board the suggestions in the report for improvement and will be taking these forward with the help of our partners. Keep your eyes peeled for the full launch of our report, which will be coming soon.
This is not the only thing happening in the world of the VERU though. This week we will be at the National Black Police Association (NBPA) conference here in Bedfordshire; I am delighted to be featuring in a panel discussion during the conference, as well as delivering a VERU workshop in conjunction with my other talented senior VERU staff. Cultural competency is a key part of why the VERU has been able to achieve everything it has and we all want to help play our part in taking policing on this journey.
The team is also looking forward to the Love Luton half marathon on 31 October. We are working with the organisers to put our team in place to marshall the race and it will be great to use this event as another means of getting the word out about the VERU, as well as messaging about violence and exploitation more generally.
As always, thank you to everyone for your ongoing support.
Head of the VERU
YIS TEAM UPDATE
Our youth intervention specialist team continues to be exceptionally busy. We have recorded the latest episode of our VERU Youth Voices podcast in conjunction with Mary Seacole housing association, who continue to be hugely valued partners in our work.
We are also thrilled to have worked closely with Central Bedfordshire Council to get so many people involved in their summer activities.
We would encourage you to keep submitting any referrals via our website.
The YIS team has also welcomed some new staff over recent weeks, which is great news.
Simon come on board as part of our work with Gangsline, while Claire has also joined as part of a new partnership with the youth anti-crime charity Fearless. We are also pleased to welcome Debbie as our new education, employability and training consultant in the YIS team.
More details about all of their work will be released over the coming weeks.
Finally, thank you to everyone who got in touch following the last VERU in View to take us up on our education offer.
We are still keen to work with as many education settings across the county as possible, and you can find out more about our education offer on the VERU Village website.
Thank you to everyone who attended our multi-agency exploitation briefing last week, as well as all the different professionals who gave an input.
We had around 40 professionals from different agencies in attendance, and thank you once again to our Exploitation lead Lisa Robinson for organising.
We have also worked with the National Working Group to organise a webinar on victim blaming language and terminology, as it is really important we get this right when we are speaking with and engaging victims and other vulnerable people.
This webinar enables us to discuss victim-blaming language and how we can accurately and sensitively record and report on victim experiences. The aim of this webinar is to share practice between agencies and to explore ways in which we can develop the language we use.
The next one of these is on Wednesday. Visit the Safeguarding Bedfordshire website for more information or to book.
- The exploitation guidance documents on our website are excellent guides to responding to exploitation, which follow the approved processes we have in Bedfordshire to responding to all forms of exploitation.
- This includes the multi-agency information submission form. Please – if you have concerns about someone you know or work with, fill out one of these forms and ensure these concerns are passed on to the right people who can make a difference.
- There are specialist drug and alcohol support services available for young people in Bedfordshire.
- Bedford / Central Bedfordshire – Aquarius – Email YPBedfordshire@aquarius.org.uk – Call 0300 008 3925 – Call/Text/Whatsapp 07467 336203
- Luton – ResoLUTiONs – Call 0800 054 6603 – Email firstname.lastname@example.org – Visit resolutions4luton.org