Annual Report : 25 years of building trusted relationships.
14 September 2020
Due to the current situation it is timely to update stakeholders. All services continue to be delivered with an increased demand of 200% for our Doorway services and we will continue to adapt our services to meet the needs of the women. As an essential service The Rose Project has continued to provide face to face contacts using robust and dynamic risk assessments to ensure the safety of both staff and service users and has seen a 55% increase in contacts with our young people.
This has enabled us to review current practices to ensure we continue to innovate and respond in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our society.
Reaching out to build trusted relationships to bring an end to sexual violence, exploitation and coercion.
The Magdalene Group supports positive change by building in-depth trusted relationships and responding to needs in a trauma-informed way for women and young people who are affected by sexual violence, exploitation and coercion.
To be a dynamic, innovative service provider and be driven to look for creative solutions to identified issues within our field of work.
To develop trusted relationships and embed a trauma-informed approach throughout all services.
To ensure our service-users and supporters are always at the heart of everything we do.
To demonstrate social impact through monitoring and evaluating our work to ensure we focus on building positive improvements in the lives of young people and women
To actively ensure that a culture of trust is built and maintained through open- ness and transparency internally and externally.
To work in a collaborative and inclusive way and actively seek constructive and productive partnerships.
We are a value-driven charity seeking to make a real difference to the lives of the people we support.
Structure Management and Governance
This is the first annual return reporting as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation building upon 25 years of provision, enabling expansion of the services and providing an opportunity to review our public benefit and purposes. Following our last Away Day, attended by staff, volunteers, service users, stakeholders and trustees, we have compiled a five-year strategic plan from 2020 - 2025 incorporating our findings.
The Away Day recognised the challenges we face and looked at the opportunities and aspirations for our service and we have included these within our strategic planning. In particular we need to understand and respond to the following challenges:
A reduction in European Funds as a result of Brexit.
Increased demand for funding amongst the Voluntary sector.
Increase of larger national organisations bidding.
Statutory responses to social issues and delivery.
Trust in charities, transparency and public scrutiny.
Key Organisational objectives for The Magdalene Group for 2020 – 2025
We will continue to strive for excellence in our Governance. Our Trustee board meets four times a year as a full board. A Finance sub-group and Employment and Renumeration sub-group meet quarterly. Our organisation recognises the need for a strong and dedicated board of trustees, supporting staff and volunteers through their commitment to delivering our aims. The importance of trustees with relevant experience and enthusiasm is essential for the organisation’s continued growth and success.
Building on our award of the Trusted Charity Mark in 2018 where we were measured in 12 key areas including planning, governance, managing staff, managing resources, quality, learning and development, we will continue to work within a continuous improvement framework with regular reviews and audits towards level 2. Recognition of complexity and working with it rather than against it is becoming more common. Part of this shift is taking responsibility for our impact beyond our immediate sphere of influence. We will continue to embed a culture of impact- management to improve performance, learning and effectiveness in serving our community with regular conversations and engagement whilst collecting feedback. We use frameworks such as PESTLE and SWOT analysis to view the current climate and what we want to achieve for the years ahead.
We have worked hard to develop a diverse income strategy in order to build the resources needed to achieve our strategic aims: understanding our financial operating environment and proactively planning income diversification and capacity building support for wider partnerships and collaborations. Our Governance and Quality ensures we have capacity for contract- readiness and social investment. Trustees are mindful of the expertise that the organisation has built up through its staff and for the need for sustainability moving forward. Reserves will be built up to enable 12 months’ running costs and to enable allocated resources to be managed in response to the direct support needs of service-users.
The Trustees and CEO understand their responsibility for the development and implementation of a system of internal control and will review its effectiveness against our growing and expanded service, developing a system that can robustly manage risk rather than eliminate it. Undertaking a strategic review and compiling a risk register to cover all projects and ensuring principle risks are identified and reported against at each Board meeting.
Equality and Diversity
We recognise that prejudice and discrimination are detrimental to society at large and to individuals and that all individuals and groups have valuable, unique experiences to offer.
Our Code of Conduct states: people in contact with the organisation including staff, trustees, volunteers and service-users will be treated with dignity and respect and will be valued and listened to. Language or humour that people find offensive will not be used such as sexist or racist jokes. No-one will be harassed, abused or intimidated on the grounds of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. All incidents of harassment will be taken seriously. We are committed to equal opportunity and diversity for our service-users and will not discriminate or offer services less fairly on account of age, self-identified gender, sexual orientation, marital status including civil partnership, religion or belief, race, or disability. We monitor activities to ensure fair treatment and patterns of under-representation are identified. As a result of this monitoring we recognise the above statement alone is not enough and we recognize the need for greater representation of diversity within our workforce and will work to ensure we are not unwittingly excluding anyone based on their age, self-identified gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, or disability. We are currently working with independent consultants to explore how to be an inclusive organisation.
We continue to develop skills and talents of the existing workforce encouraging progression and retaining staff, recognising that our people are our most valuable commodity who understand our culture, values and working environment. This year has seen the introduction of Warner safeguarding interview practice and going forward we will continue to see a growth in staff numbers and will continue to develop a workforce where staff have lived-experience. We have a robust structure in place to support staff through an out-sourced HR company and good employee benefits.
We encourage staff to seek personal development opportunities and are supported through monthly line management sessions, appraisals and external clinical supervision. We invest in accredited training and practice for all trustees, staff and volunteers and recent achievements of accredited training and development in Trauma, Child-Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Child Criminal Exploitation, Safeguarding, Reflective Practice, ISVA Management, Domestic Violence, Digital Practice, Restorative Approaches, Sex-Working Approaches, Suicide Prevention, Sexual Health amongst others.
Digital Marketing and Communications
We recognise the principle that all communications need a strong foundation. We will be looking to review and crystallise our key message around our mission and USP, identifying our different audiences and which communications channels will be most effective. We will address public profiles, understanding media engagement to increase engagement locally and nationally.
We want to ensure that our digital practice should achieve our mission and goals. We will review and audit the use of various digital channels, communications, technology, social media and the use of apps. We will identify gaps and areas for improvement and look at the use of multimedia tools, content for videos, audio case studies and impact measurement. We will build upon our existing website pages and user-experience to inform our approach. We also seek to collaborate with partners and listen to service-users through the better use of digital technology.
Our Volunteer Strategy demonstrates the value volunteering makes and this is recognised within the strategic leadership and commitment of the organisation. We value the contribution of our volunteers and the skills, personality and experience they contribute to build trusted relationships with women and young people. We will ensure quality and meaningful experiences whilst ensuring volunteers feel valued and understand the impact of their involvement. We will continue to develop our strategy ensuring we maximise volunteer involvement and recruit, match, support and retain this vital resource for the women and young people we work with.
Reaching out to build relationships with women who experience
sexual violence and face multiple disadvantage
Our dedicated team consists of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) Manager, Outreach Worker and a Specialist Women’s Multiple Disadvantage Advocate. We offer personalised and holistic support to empower women, who experience sexual violence, coercion and exploitation and offer specialist support for women who sex-work, addressing their individual needs; such as isolation, physical and mental health, homelessness, substance misuse, sexual health, domestic violence and safety advice.
Doorway Women's Services provides a safe space that caters to individual cultural and personal needs in which to build trusted relationships where they feel ‘cared for’ safe and are able to feel less isolated. The main objective of the Doorway Service is that women will have experience of improved wellbeing and life experiences though an increase in access to and support with Safety, Housing Substance Misuse, Physical Health, Mental Health Benefits and Income, Sexual Health, Social Network, Sexual Violence Domestic Abuse, navigating the Criminal Justice System, Employment and Education, Immigration and Residence.
Women facing multiple disadvantage and sexual violence and abuse experience many barriers to accessing support due to stigma and prejudice, lack of understanding of the impact of trauma, thresholds for accessing statutory support and involvement in the criminal justice system. We recognise the need for gender-responsive and trauma-informed services to enable support for women facing these intersecting issues.
We have a track record of engaging marginalised groups including sex-workers and victims of sexual exploitation and coercion. It is imperative when working in a trauma-informed way that women can access the right service at the right time, services need to be flexible and responsive and clear pathways into support must be established between services.
Doorway Strategic Aims
To retain local recognition as known experts in the field of sexual violence.
To continue to provide and grow specialist sex-worker ISVA service.
To create a community ISVA Service recognising the need for trauma and gendered service provision.
To establish a women’s centre with a multi-disciplinary women’s team with expertise in housing, health, and criminal justice.
To provide support and advocacy to access services that meet individual needs.
To develop housing opportunities and projects.
To use trauma-informed approach and trusted relationships approach as our intervention with all external stakeholders.
Data for the project runs from 1st April 2019 - 31st March 2020.
Reaching out on sexual exploitation of young people in Norfolk
Our dedicated ROSE Team has provided a range of specialist services to young people who have experienced or are affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Norfolk since 2007. Working with young people to reduce their risk of being harmed by those who want to exploit or hurt them. The team consists of CSE Therapeutic and Outreach practitioners who provide intensive 1:1 support, prevention and early intervention services.
The Rose Project is holistic in its approach and explores with young people their needs, vulnerabilities and any contextual factors they are experiencing to support them to address these to achieve long lasting changes in their lives. Through building trusted relationship practitioners work with them through positive activities, informal education and structured activities to support them to:
Understand what happened/is happening to them.
Recognise exploitation, abuse, power and control.
Rebuild their sense of who they are and their self-esteem.
Move on with their lives, however they choose to.
Understand what healthy relationships look like and what they want from relationships.
Have confidence to have the kind of relationships they want to have,
whatever these may look like, online or in person.
Develop skills in safety planning.
Use the internet informed about the risk of people wishing to do harm and for themselves to use it responsibly and not to cause harm.
Develop coping skills and strategies and promote wellbeing and good mental health.
Promote good sexual health, and to access services like C-Card (all practitioners are trained to register young people) and sexual health screening and contraception.
Report and seek justice for what happened to them in the criminal justice system, including support pre, during and post police investigation and during prosecution/trial of offenders (this is always the young person’s choice and we never put pressure on them to do this).
The Rose Team work closely with the young person’s social worker and their Multi-Agency Sexual Exploitation (MASE) worker from Norfolk Constabulary, attending child planning meetings, reviews, strategy discussions and child protection conferences. Close working with the Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) Team is also required to ensure that children and young people do not fall through the gaps and we have a joined-up response to get the most appropriate service.
Our assessments and plans are person-centred with the emphasis on empowering individuals, enabling positive engagement in the assessment and in making sustainable positive change.
The young people design the support they want, for example, support to get counselling, support with their mental health, others to get back in school or work, or with moving care homes. Through the positive relationship we support young people to reach out and increase their confidence in using services. We also refer to other organisations as part of our exit planning to ensure that young people have the support they need going forward.
We recognise that young people we work with have experienced trauma as a result of the sexual violence and exploitation. Some young people have experienced compounded trauma and we avoid re-traumatising them and are committed to work to support them to understand their experiences and develop coping strategies and, when they are ready to seek appropriate therapeutic interventions.
As a team we commit to ensuring:
Support is timely, flexible and responsive.
Young people can set the pace of the work.
Young people do not have to change workers as far as is possible.
That we operate in an open and transparent way.
There is no waiting list and support is not time-limited.
Workers have small caseloads to allow frequent work at flexible times.
Persistent and creative in engaging and staying with young people.
Liaise with case accountable workers to agree exit plans.
Be experts in trauma and sexual violence in order to offer guidance to professionals.
ROSE Strategic Aims
To continue to develop partnerships for the provision of county-wide Child Sexual Exploitation and Criminal Exploitation Services.
To develop Young Peoples ISVA service for those who do not formally disclose sexual violence and to support through criminal justice system.
To embed trauma-informed practice and interventions throughout all provision.
Accessed vs. Referred
28 young people were already open to Rose on the 1st April 2019, from the 1st April 2019 - 31st March 2020 an additional 196 young people were referred.
Reaching out to provide a warm and nurturing home for girls aged 16-18 affected by child sexual exploitation.
EnRoute places high emphasis on building trusted relationships, our approach is to safeguard young women in a community setting where they can learn how to manage risk, receive specialist therapeutic support and to provide the opportunity for young women to continue to live in Norfolk. The staff team are trained as level 3 CSE practitioners and work within multi-agency settings to ensure the voice of the young person is heard and responded too.
EnRoute Strategic Aims
To provide a therapeutic supported accommodation service
To support 16 - 18-year-old girls through transition to adulthood to achieve
their potential whilst moving to independence
To adopt trauma-informed practice and interventions throughout all provision
To review further supported accommodation houses across the county for 18 +
Reaching out to educate and inform children, young people and professionals how to recognise the signs of sexual exploitation
The Jigsaw Programme has developed a range of accredited education programmes which are delivered through small group work, drop-in’s and larger workshops throughout Norfolk in schools, youth groups and care homes, ensuring we work to prevent child sexual exploitation and ensure young people recognise and understand how to stay safe. We introduced a range of sexual health interventions to young people where there are concerns of CSE and we continue to respond to emerging issues by developing new courses that cover how young people understand healthy relationships in the ever changing arena of increased availability of online pornography and the constant emerging of new digital dangers.
Jigsaw Strategic Aims
To establish a countywide outreach education programme
To deliver CSE training for professionals