Mothers Against Violence (MAV) hope you have had a positive start to the New Year. MAV have started the New Year fully operational in our new office space at the Claremont Resource Centre, Rolls Crescent, Hulme, Manchester. We have now updated our address information on the website and on all marketing and publication materials.
Our new home is a shared building in which we have three office spaces. The office space is situated on the first floor of the Claremont Centre. We have split working areas into three areas. The first office is our Main Office and has a computer station section which will be used for educational and training for young people. We are due to complete some computer and website development training over the next few months for some of our volunteers.
The second office is the Management Office and will be used for finance and MAV business. The third office is our Development Office we will use this space for all one to one support services which includes counselling and mentoring, there is also space for small group meetings. The Development Office will also be the home of the website and management of our social networking.
The other rooms such as the meeting room, kitchen and toilets are all shared with the Manchester City Council services who also use the building. We will also have easy access to the Hulme Community Hall which is also linked to the centre. The move is a result of cutting cost for the service. We do feel sharing the cost of office space will enable us to spend more money on the delivery of much needed work in our community.
MAV are hopeful for the future. We want to continue doing the work we do supporting local schools, youth offending services, prisons, substance misuse services and providing counselling and mentoring. Please kindly make a donation. Just click on the Donate Now link. This will take you to our donation page. Thank You for all your support.
MAV’s Welcomes Justice Secretary Views
One of the programmes that has continued to grow from strengths to strength over the past 10 months is the Road Map to Business Development Project (RMBD) headed by Carl Montlake. Carl like many of MAV volunteers has taken his difficult personal experiences and used the difficulties to inspire and support others. He has currently supported over 30 ex-offenders in developing their own business ideas.
The RMBD service has trained and mentored ex-offenders giving them better life chances on their release from prison. Many of the trainees have already registered their business which range from car washing services to hairdressing services. This is very positive news for MAV and we are thankful for the funding support the Allen Lane Foundation has given us in order to get the project off the ground. We are also greatful for the referrals from probations services. MAV are also encouraged by the news that the government are keen to put support for ex-offenders in the community allowing services like MAV to support and provide care for those coming out of prison. MAV have longed believed that every prisoner released in England and Wales should have a community mentor to help get his or her life back on track.
BBC news recently reported that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling plans would be co-ordinated by private and voluntary sector groups. These groups would be paid if re-offending was reduced. Mentors would help with finding housing and training opportunities.
Almost half of adult prisoners are re-convicted within a year of release and, like his predecessor Ken Clarke, Mr Grayling has made tackling reoffending a priority as justice secretary.
In his speech on 20th November 2012 Mr Grayling said he would be expanding the government’s use of payment-by-results to organisations which delivered cuts in reoffending. Only those who are jailed for more than a year are currently provided with opportunities to join rehabilitation programmes. The government says it wants all but the highest-risk prisoners to be in programmes by the end of 2015.
Mr Grayling said: “When all we do is just take those people, release them onto the streets with £46 in their pockets and no other support, why are we surprised that they reoffend again quickly?” Whether you are the hardest of hard-liners on crime, or the most liberal observer, every single one of us has a vested interest in an enlightened approach to reducing reoffending. We can’t just keep recycling people round and round the system.”
MAV are keen to continue supporting ex-offenders and we believe it is key to developing a safer community which provides positive role models for the younger generation to see and be inspired by.
MAV ACCESS Project Welcomes Change
A Community Counselling & Emotional Support Service (ACCESS) is aware of the growing interest in counselling in schools across the UK, driven by an increasing awareness of the role that schools can play in helping to promote emotional health for children and young people and by addressing mental health issues, including psychological and behavioural problems. This is particularly important in terms of the heavy pressure that other, valuable, children’s services are under and the long waiting lists often found in social services, educational psychology, special education and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Ian Swanston has worked for a local authority service for over four years. He provides support for parents. Ian said; “In late 2009 I became aware of the growing need for counselling within children’s and young people’s services. I worked for a local authority as a parenting worker, many of the parents that were referred to the service also had additional needs. Some of these needs would have be better met by counsellors. Many of these parents wanted additional support such as counselling given to their children, others identified they also needed counselling support. Often when I made a referral to the local authority counselling service, the demand was so great many of my families would have to wait for months before being seen, private counselling was considered too costly for local council budgets. With gun crime on a decline since 2008 in the inner city of Manchester, MAV’s referrals for support for victims was at a welcome low. I saw an opportunity to link the service run by MAV a charitable organisation, with the local authority service who were inundated with referrals from parents who felt the need for therapeutic expressive interventions, for themselves or members of their family.
After consultation with MAV management and the local authority counselling team manager, I offered my volunteering hours as a qualified counsellor to the local authority, reducing my hours of counselling for MAV. In return the local authority provided me with free supervision for all my client work, this including the counselling I completed for MAV. This saved money for MAV who had previously covered the cost of my volunteer supervision. It also helped the local authority reduce the waiting time on their client waiting list. Both services benefited. I was then able to continue providing counselling for those that needed it. I now provide support for children and young people who may not have experienced gun crime but had experienced family breakdown as a result of divorce, sudden death, sickness and other family difficulties. Many of these experiences result in the children displaying difficult behaviours at home and school.”
The Welsh Assembly Government 2007 funded research project which aimed to evaluate counselling in schools across the UK and then make recommendations for developing counselling services for children and young people. This research process involved desk research, a survey of schools and educational agencies in Wales and consultation with a wide group of stakeholders including teachers, counsellors, parents and young people as well as professionals involved in the planning and delivery of mental health services for children and young people. Their engagement with the research helped shape the results, thus facilitating ownership of the project findings, which is important for future service development and delivery.
The research process enabled the team to identify standards of practice and the frameworks needed to deliver high quality and sustainable services. Data were synthesised to develop evidence based recommendations for schools in Wales.
The recommendations are that school counselling services should:
- Have sustainable funding
- Employ professionally qualified counsellors who have experience of working with young people, who access appropriate clinical supervision with experienced supervisors, and who take part in regular, relevant continuing professional development
- Deliver accessible counselling in an appropriately private but safe setting within the school vicinity
- Be seen as non stigmatising by the school community and a normal part of school provision, which is integrated into the school community
- Be monitored and evaluated by individuals or an agency (in or out of the school) with experience in this specialised area of work
- Pay due regard to current legislation and guidance, and offer confidentiality within usual ethical and safeguarding limits
- Respond flexibly to local needs in respect of diversity (e.g., language) and practicality (e.g., availability during holiday periods)
- Work with and alongside other services and agencies in a collegial manner, whilst maintaining appropriate levels of confidentiality
- Employ counsellors who are members of a professional body and as such have an established ethical framework and complaints procedure
- Employ counsellors whose personal qualities will mean that they are approachable, have good listening skills and a manner that encourages a climate for safe and trusting relationships
MAV are currently looking at ways in which they can engage with local schools in the area to offer counselling support directly. MAV are aware of the great improvements in many schools which have developed their mental health support for pupils over the last few years. MAV are also aware of the need for schools to fund this out of school budgets and often mental health needs take second place to educational attainment. Many schools are under pressure to improve academic success at the cost of mental stability. MAV are keen to help schools who are struggling to get the right balance. We want to offer those schools students who are failing to meet targets due to personal family issues such as bereavement, parent separation, long-term illness, peer pressure and other difficult issues faced by children and young people a place to explore these issues. We want to pay particular attention to high school children as our own research of the issues show there is more support in the primary age group with services such as A Place to Be having a positive impact on primary schools in the inner city of Manchester.