As part of Suffolk’s White Ribbon Campaign, Cathy Press, integrative therapist, clinical supervisor & trainer and Chair of Compassion provides an insight in to a day of her life in supporting those who have lived with domestic abuse:
My days are varied, with the development of five group programmes focusing on domestic abuse issues, the White Ribbon Campaign, training, being Chair of Compassion and running my own private practice as an integrative therapist and clinical supervisor, I have quite a busy schedule!
I start my morning early, getting my daughter on a 7.15am bus to school. Then my first job on the list is to answer the emails I receive, making a mental note of all the things needing to be achieved by the end of the day. Juggling so many projects needs careful planning.
My emails are normally about referrals to programmes, training enquiries, enquiries about Compassion’s support group and befriending service or one of the projects/programmes we are developing or rolling out, and contact with Compassion’s volunteers.
Compassion is a voluntary organisation which has eight volunteers, each either running the Freedom Programme in Sudbury or Great Cornard, running the bi-weekly support group or offering one to one support to those experiencing domestic abuse or living with the impact of the abuse.
I also receive emails from women from as far afield as Kent and Norfolk, looking for support and a Freedom Programme.
Today part of my focus is on ‘Stronger Families’ a community group programme for mothers and children who have experienced domestic abuse but are trying to rebuild their lives away from their abuser. We aim to run our first Stronger Families pilot programme in Sudbury from January – March 2014. This week we hold the first day of training for the facilitators.
Today I’m also hoping to organise some meetings to inform local practitioners about Stronger Families and ‘Caring Dads’. Caring Dads is a seventeen-week programme for fathers who use abusive behaviour towards their children and partners.
Fathers will be able to access the much needed support in understanding the impact of their behaviour and how to build more fulfilling relationships with their children and their children’s mothers.
We are hoping to get this programme started in Sudbury, in March 2014, but there is an intensive preparation period prior to this. We are working on this in partnership with the Suffolk Family Focus initiative at Suffolk County Council.
Also, today I have been back and forth with a colleague at Ipswich Borough Council, regarding a new training courses in child to parent violence and the ‘Who’s in Charge?’ programme. This is a fabulous programme for parents whose children use abusive behaviour to them. We need to get our skates on though, as our next facilitator training is in March 2014. Gosh it’s going to be a busy March!
Today will also see me attending to admin, having spent most of last week training practitioners in Lancashire to facilitate ‘Escape the Trap’, a teenage relationship abuse programme which I developed myself.
What’s also in the back of my mind is… Valentine’s Day! Every day I inch a little closer to Valentine’s Day, which will see the launch of Compassion’s ‘Teenage Relationship Abuse Commercials’, made entirely by young people in Suffolk. This, alongside the other initiatives with Suffolk County Council, will be the focus of a strong awareness raising campaign for young people in Suffolk, and is very exciting, so watch this space for more information.
And then there is my day job as a therapist and clinical supervisor, trainer and mother! Preparation is essential for my work with clients this week, as well as for domestic abuse training in Bury St Edmunds later this week.
Being a volunteer and Chair for Compassion for the past 11 years, has been full on and the demands get greater the more you want to achieve. My focus is always on supporting those who have lived with domestic abuse in the best way possible with a variety of resources and forms of support.