“I found all of it really inspiring and informative. Several times I looked around the room and felt a lump in my throat, the overwhelming pride to be part of something so powerful. I have worked with survivors of [domestic abuse] for many years, of the many tools, services and agencies that I have received training in, this is the first to truly capture the voice of the woman. It isn’t process led, it’s survivor led, and that really comes through…….The whole day was inspiring and informative and the work you have done is amazing!”
– Clinical Lead
On September 26th, IRISi held its first National Network Event since before the pandemic. The event was open to all advocate educators and clinical leads working in both IRIS and ADViSE sites across the UK. 67 network members attended the event, 18 of whom were Clinical Leads.
Following the event, we asked attendees to give us feedback and this blog includes highlights from that feedback. We will also use that feedback to ensure that our next event is bigger and better!
We asked attendees what their favourite thing was about the event:
Attendees said that their favourite parts of the event were networking with staff from other sites, meeting people in person, sharing skills and expertise, and both speakers, in particular the talk from Professor Monckton Smith about the 8 stages of homicide.
“The opportunity to meet colleagues in other regions, and hear about how they may be handling similar challenges, their successes and plans for the future”.
Lunch was provided by Papadeli, a local caterer in Bristol, and was highly praised, particularly the “yummy Brownies!”
On the whole, attendees liked the mix of content from the IRISi team and the 2 excellent external speakers. We were fortunate to have Dr Alison Gregory, whose work addresses the needs of informal supporters of survivors, as well as research on abuse experienced by Health Care Professionals. This was particularly relevant as IRIS/ADViSE sites offer clinicians the opportunity to access support, as we know that one of the barriers for healthcare practitioners supporting patients can be their own experiences of abuse.
“The talk on experience of DVA in healthcare workers was great”.
Professor Jane Monckton-Smith’s presentation was also very well received and attendees feedback on how they can use the additional understanding in their training to clinicians on the ground:
“The homicide lecture was really informative and engaging, felt I could use what I learnt from this when delivering Clinical 1 [training]”.
Attendees gave us a number of suggestions for future speakers, as well as topics they felt would be helpful to cover in future events. This included, but was not limited to: Discussions around funding; having subject specialists on older people, and issues around disability; Speakers specifically from Black, Global Majority, and minoritised communities; More on secondary trauma and how working in the violence field can impact on advocates as well as the clinicians they train; and finally, a request for a future talk around the impacts on children and young people.
Overall, however, the attendees really enjoyed the topics covered.
“More of the same! The speakers were absolutely fantastic. something similar again next time would be great!”
Finally, we asked attendees to sum up the day in three words:
As well as the really positive feedback from Advocate Educators and Clinical Leads, the IRISi team also had a really enjoyable day meeting the network, showcasing what we do, and listening to the issues that affect the IRISi programmes on the ground.
So, a huge thank you from us, for making the day so informative and enjoyable. We look forward to welcoming you to the next National Network Event, which (with your amazing feedback) we hope will be even bigger and brighter!