Old Moat Garden Centre scoops Good Retail Award

Richmond Fellowship’s Old Moat Garden Centre in Surrey has won another prestigious award, this time competing against a range of retail organisations from all over the UK.

The Good Retail Awards are presented every year at the retail trade show Spring Fair at Birmingham NEC and celebrate retailers making a positive impact in the industry.

The Old Moat won the Community Award for companies who have gone above and beyond to transform and enhance the lives of others.

Judges commended the garden centre for its “lasting impact in the local community”.

The Old Moat is a hugely successful garden centre that provides a work-based program for local people living with mental health challenges, giving them the confidence and skills to get back into employment.

Each year the centre’s work impacts directly on about 150 people living with mental ill health, but the ripple effect touches hundreds more as their families and friends gain peace of mind, waiting lists in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals are reduced, employers gain qualified confident staff, and the community is enriched by their increased participation in it.

A person we supported said on his last day:

“It’s like a community here, everyone knows each other, I’ve had a lot of fun, and it’s really helped me out”.

To find out more about The Old Moat Garden Centre, visit www.theoldmoatgardencentre.org.uk.

Driving change

Our DVIP and MyTime divisions were partners in the recent three year Drive pilot, working with the perpetrators of domestic abuse. The pilot’s evaluation received widespread coverage this month – but what next?

The prevalence of domestic abuse in the UK is staggering – 100,000 people are at risk of domestic homicide or serious harm every year. Historically the response to domestic abuse has focused on expecting the victim to leave and start a new life in a new community. Often the perpetrator is left to continue their life as normal and frequently repeats the same behaviour with new partners, creating more victims. Currently 1 in 4 domestic abuse perpetrators are repeat offenders, and only 1% of perpetrators receive specialist intervention to address their behaviour.

Richmond Fellowship’s specialist domestic abuse divisions, DVIP and MyTime, know we need to tackle the root cause, and together have nearly 30 years’ experience and expertise developing and delivering perpetrator interventions. We respond to and support perpetrators through local behaviour change and risk management services whilst also providing vital support services to women and children.

Since 2016 we have been part of the Drive pilot (led by Safelives, Respect and Social Finance), delivering a programme that challenges and seeks to change perpetrator behaviour. Drive was an intensive and multi agency approach that ran in Essex, South Wales and West Sussex initially and was then replicated in Croydon, Worcester, Birmingham & Sandwell and Cardiff. We were partners for West Sussex and West Midlands.

The recently published evaluation of this three year long pilot demonstrated the clear potential of the Drive approach. For instance the number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:

– Physical abuse reduced by 82%
– Sexual abuse reduced by 88%
– Harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%
– Jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%

The evaluation received wide spread press coverage, and saw more than 80 organisations sign a call to action for the government to create a domestic abuse perpetrator strategy. The joint call for action rightly highlights the need for a national response – one that incorporates multi-agency approaches such as Drive. But most importantly it also highlights that the vast majority of perpetrators are not able to access Drive type interventions.

So what next? We want to see more evidence-based activities that support social change to end domestic abuse. Sustainable government funding will be key to enabling a national roll-out of effective multi-agency responses like Drive.

We also want to apply this overlapping service approach to the Recovery Focus Group. Domestic abuse is everyone’s business and it crosses over all service provision across our group.

We currently deliver a number of innovative service models that not only work with the individuals that use abusive behaviours in intimate relationships but also the victims, survivors and children. Our vision is that domestic abuse services will be fully integrated into services across the group.

Over the next three years we will be looking to expand our domestic abuse services across the UK in line with the group’s existing provision.

On air with Radio Sparky!

We’re always looking for innovative ways to tell stories at Richmond Fellowship – so welcome to Radio Sparky, a new podcast pilot showcasing some of the great things happening at our services across the country.

In this first edition, Matt Webb from the Communications and Marketing team catches up with Olivia Green, Activities and Wellbeing Support Worker at Winston House, Richmond Fellowship’s Residential Care Home in Cambridge and a couple of the people they support to find out more about their play ‘Cleanarella’ which they staged on the run up to Christmas.

“I was good at drama at school, I got an A level in it. It brought back memories. I’m a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. It was an opportunity for me to shine.” – Andy, person we support.