6 Feb 2019

Promoting positive relationships

40 professionals working with children and young people had the opportunity to attend free training sessions about domestic abuse, thanks to a partnership between Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) and the No Child Left Behind campaign.

GDASS, delivered by GreenSquare, is a county-wide service designed to reduce the level of domestic abuse and improve the safety of victims and their families.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a year of action, organised by Cheltenham Borough Council and its partners, to highlight the issue of children growing up in poverty and the inequality between them and their more affluent peers.

The campaign is covering a different theme each month, from mental health to ambitious careers, and February’s theme is positive relationships.

Sarah Pinkney, young person’s project coordinator for GDASS said: “Healthy, positive relationships can help young people to thrive, so it is really important to support children and families to build positive relationships."

This was the focus of a series of free training sessions delivered by GDASS in support of the NCLB campaign at Chapel Arts in Cheltenham on 5 February.

"We had a range of professionals attending from church groups, youth clubs, community groups and others,” Sarah continues. "The aim of the sessions was to make people more aware of what domestic abuse is, the impact it has on young people and also introduce them to GDASS and the support we can offer. Lisa, one of our specially-trained independent domestic violence advisors, was also there to talk about her work with young people who are experiencing high-risk domestic abuse."

There are in the region of 4,300 children and young people growing up in poverty in Cheltenham and those children face significant challenges, including poorer education attainment, higher risk of being victims of crime, higher risk of being open to social care and risk of self-harm.

Tracy Brown, safeguarding and partnerships manager at Cheltenham Borough Council said "It was a wonderful opportunity to work with our friends at GDASS. We hope that the professionals who attended the session enjoyed it and will use this new information and toolset to work with young people and children affected by domestic abuse in Cheltenham and surrounding areas."

In further support of the campaign, GDASS are delivering two free workshops later this month (13 February and 27 February) and one in March (6 March) at Oakwood Primary School for teaching and support staff in primary, secondary and higher education.

The aim of these training sessions is to help teachers in supporting young people and parents who are experiencing domestic abuse, covering what they can do and how to respond effectively and safely.

To book a space and for more information contact nochildleftbehind@cheltenham.gov.uk Places will be given on a first come, first served basis.

More information about GDASS can be found at www.gdass.org.uk