Our life changing Somerset-based domestic abuse service wins national award

30 November 2015

Our life changing community initiative in Somerset has been recognised by the public and the housing world with a national award after a busy week of online voting.

The Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS) was shortlisted by industry judges from over 100 entries for a national health and wellbeing award, as part of the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Week.

Community Impact Week showcased the tremendous difference housing associations make to neighbourhoods and local people, celebrating the diverse range of achievements and projects across the country.

SIDAS, which we run in partnership with Barnardos, won the award for its “GP Champion” project. The project tackles the barriers that staff at GP surgeries face when identifying victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse, and referring them to the service.

The project centres on specialist domestic abuse training for staff across Somerset surgeries. This is the only project of its kind running in the region. It works to establish a ‘champion’ in each of the 74 surgeries across Somerset, who are responsible for recognising domestic abuse and referring patients to SIDAS.

There’s already been a notable increase in referrals to the service from GP surgeries.

Judges from the National Housing Federation said “This is a great example of the sort of integration and cross-sectoral working (housing, Public Health England, voluntary sector) that I’d like to see all housing associations take part in. It fills a gap in existing services and supports a very vulnerable sector of the community.”

Sonia Furzland, Assistant Director of Supported Housing, said “We’re thrilled to have won this award. To be shortlisted by industry professionals, and to win thanks to public voting is a great achievement.

Partnership working is key to the success of this project and this award is testament to the work of Somersets amazing GPs . We hope that others can look at this as best practice, whereby a vital community service is provided by different organisations across sectors working together.”

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