TLC: Talk, Listen, Change has been awarded a Greater Manchester-wide contract to help and support victims of domestic abuse and their families as part of an initiative to prevent re-offending and stop violence and abuse escalating.
The STRIVE initiative involves police, local authorities and other partner agencies working with the voluntary sector to signpost victims to relevant support services, share best practice and prevent repeat victims of domestic abuse.
Now, for the first time, the service has been commissioned on a Greater Manchester-wide level and TLC: Talk, Listen, Change has been awarded a three-year contract to deliver the service.
Through the STRIVE service, trained volunteers help victims at an earlier stage, visiting their home following an incident of domestic abuse to offer support to individuals, couples and families to prevent the abuse escalating.
TLC: Talk, Listen, Change have been responsible for running this service for the last two years, in which time it was extended to cover Trafford, Salford and Stockport. This new contract, funded by the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester will operate in nine local authorities and will involve working alongside Greater Manchester Police and Bridges, who are part of the Jigsaw Group.
Our CEO, Michelle Hill stated:
Our STRIVE Volunteering Service really has made a life-changing difference to the local communities we work in and we are so grateful to our team for the work they do every day to give people the help they need.
We’re honoured to have received this contract and it’s a great opportunity for us as an organisation to be working within communities across Greater Manchester. We have already built great relationships locally and look forward to working with our partners on this project. We’re really excited to start seeing the impact of our strategy and model on a much wider scale.
The charity’s previous history of delivering STRIVE has seen it grow from strength to strength, thanks to key partnerships with the local authorities and Greater Manchester Police. Since 2017, STRIVE under TLC: Talk, Listen, Change has been recognised at several awards, including most recently, Volunteer Team of the Year at the North West Charity Awards 2018.
Last year, TLC: Talk, Listen, Change volunteers attended over 1,000 homes across the three boroughs and made over 500 referrals to support services. This is expected to increase significantly over the duration of the project as it extends across the other local authorities and additional volunteers are recruited.
The project is intense for volunteers and requires detailed training, commitment and above all else, a strong interest in supporting vulnerable people.
Sharon Doyle, STRIVE Project Development Manager, reflected on the journey she’s been on managing the STRIVE project through its growth:
“When STRIVE started, we always had a very person-centred approach. This was not just for the people in the homes we were visiting, but also the volunteers. We also work to create a culture of empowerment, rather than dependency. We support the volunteers, so they can empower people in communities to access support and reach their long-term goals. As STRIVE continues to grow, I will be keen to ensure we stick to our original principals and deliver a service that is designed for everyone.”
Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said:
The STRIVE service provides a vital and early lifeline to people who have experienced domestic abuse, and it has already helped thousands of families thanks to the commitment of volunteers across Greater Manchester. By commissioning STRIVE on a Greater Manchester-wide footprint we can make sure every victim and survivor of domestic abuse gets the help and support they need to stop the cycle of abuse before it begins.
The project officially began on 1st December with delivery in Salford, Trafford and Stockport. In February 2019 it will be rolled out in Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside and Bury. Followed closely by Bolton in April and Manchester in June.
TLC: Talk, Listen, Change will be recruiting 8 new positions to the STRIVE team through this contract.
The main identified goals of the project are to:
- Provide vulnerable people with person-centred contact
- Empower people to make informed choices
- Build resilient, well-connected communities
- Reduce Domestic Abuse, increasing safety to victims and children
- Reduce repeat call-outs to GMP