Neath Port Talbot: 01639 633 580

South Powys: 01874 625146

Bridgend: 01656 766139         Amman Valley: 01269 597474

Working together to end domestic violence and abuse.

My role within Calan DVS is very unique. I consider myself part of three teams and not many other people can say that!

I am a Domestic abuse specialist working in Ystradgynlais. Ystradgynlais itself is a unique community; it is located at the very south of South Powys. Brecon is approximately 25 miles away; Swansea is 12 miles away and Neath is 10 miles away. This presents its own issues as there is one bus every hour to Brecon and two buses an hour to Neath and Swansea, so it becomes difficult to engage service users in events that the South Powys team are delivering. It also proves to be difficult when I am referring to additional services.

My role is based in a local community school in a deprived area of Ystradgynlais. The school has around 200 pupils from a Flying start nursery to year 6. 43% of children on roll are accessing free school meals (average is 16%). I have a desk in the community office which is also home to Action for Children, Flying start health visitors and a community manager. There are also hot desks for other agencies as required. As the area is a small village we will usually be supporting the same families, it certainly makes life a lot easier when I attend child protection core groups.

I keep in touch with my team in South Powys by telephone and email daily and will attend events and meetings in Brecon when required.

My average day starts around 9am, my priority is to see my service users. If I am booking to see parents, I will try to see them first thing in the morning at drop off time or just before pick up time. I can book a room at the school for this. By utilising a room at the school, it ensures that the service user is safe to attend the meeting. It would be reasonable to suggest that the service user has been asked to stay behind or arrive early by the head teacher.

I also utilise a bigger room for coffee mornings, Recovery Toolkit and Freedom Programme. Currently I am delivering the Recovery Toolkit to an average of 5 people each week. This takes up one day a week as I hold an informal coffee morning for Calan service users prior to delivering the Recovery Toolkit.

My day might also include a home visit to service users who cannot make the journey to an appointment, so for instance I currently support a lady who lives in sheltered housing, I meet her in the lounge so it gets her out of her flat and we meet other residents which encourages her to be sociable.

The rest of my day might encompass catching up on emails or writing case notes on our in-house system. I have also been nominated as the in-house system expert for the Mid and West Wales team and as part of my role, I may also deliver informal training to new members of the team or helping out with a query.

At 5pm, I engage with my third team of the day as I prepare for on call in one of our refuges.