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29th Annual Report April 2012— March 2013

2013 Learning to value and be valued (A warm shoulder in cold times)


My Experience of a Psychotherapy Training Placement at WHAC

Before starting training as an integrative psychotherapist at the Northern Guild of Phsychotherapy, my professional background included work with children, adolescents and vulnerable adults in a variety of settings: children’s homes, education, criminal justice and homelessness. I decided to train as a therapist in order to make a difference which would impact both the mental health and social wellbeing of individuals’ lives. I wanted to be able to see change within mental health bringing about an increase in emotional wellbeing which in turn positively affected an individual’s economic situation, their relationships, their work or educational capacity, their place in society. Working in placement at WHAC has given me an amazing opportunity to fulfil this goal. WHAC makes counselling and psychotherapy accessible to those who would otherwise struggle to afford, or access, the longer term therapy needed to make lasting, and far-reaching, change - particularly where individuals present with complex historical issues which take time and care to resolve. WHAC’s assessment process looks at the broad-spectrum of people’s lives – finance, relationships, community, health, work and education – thus allowing the therapist to work in a focussed but broadly impacting way to achieve life-changing goals. Whilst at WHAC, I have particularly appreciated the range of quality support available to individuals in therapy whereby they can be referred for specific help and advice around eg debt or housing whilst also building up social skills and positive relational experiences through accessing WHAC facilitated activities like creative writing and Tai Chi. Working also in an outreach capacity within the community has allowed me to do long-term work with individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford to travel for therapy. As a psychotherapist in training, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide such a high quality therapeutic service as well as to work with a team of dedicated professionals in a warm, supportive environment. There is always the opportunity to have a cup of tea, to chat to my colleagues or to seek specific supervisory advice from Linda, the Counselling Co-ordinator. I have enjoyed working with a range of issues at WHAC from bereavement, identity issues, domestic violence, abuse and trauma to anxiety and depression. Some of my clients have chosen to work creatively using sandtray, images or drawing, whilst

Testimonial others prefer to talk things through. I have had opportunity to work using brief focussed therapy or longer term therapy lasting over a year, depending on the individual’s needs. Having trained to work with children, young people, adults and couples, it has been brilliant for me to work in a setting which offers experience in all of these areas. I have done effective work with children and young people with issues which include trauma and anxiety and have worked with adults in a broad age range covering a spectrum of issues. It is always rewarding to see people leave therapy because they have achieved their goals – whether that is being able to attend school without feeling anxious, sleep better at night, feel confident to make friends, come to terms with a difficult issue, begin to take care of themselves better or be able to get a job. I started in WHAC in my second year of study. Now in my fourth year of training, having qualified with distinction as a psychotherapeutic counsellor, I continue to enjoy my placement days and client work at WHAC. I have recently been offered a post as therapy service manager for an organisation working with looked after children. My placement at WHAC has given me not only the opportunity to develop into an effective therapist but to have the confidence to gain relevant employment in the field of psychotherapy: a big thank you to my colleagues at WHAC both for their part in my psychotherapy journey and for maintaining the high quality service that has enabled my clients to make their own amazing journeys towards health and wellbeing. Working with you all continues to be a privilege. Mikala Richards Volunteer Psychotherapist

“I was made to feel welcome by all members at WHAC. I will never forget how lovely and helpful my counsellor was. I would recommend WHAC services to anyone who could use your help. Thanks.”

“I am very grateful to everybody at WHAC for all the help I have received and all the kindness I have been shown. When I I returned to WHAC (I previously had help in 2007/08) I was very low, isolated and felt hopeless. WHAC was the one place I could turn to and slowly with your help, life has improved. Thank you so much.”

Chairperson’s Report This has been a challenging, eventful and ultimately successful year for WHAC. The organisation has continued its excellent work and remains trusted and respected by clients, referrers and funders. The staff and volunteers have again achieved a vast amount with limited resources. Over the past year WHAC has seen over 3200 attendances at counselling, advice or training services – which represents a significant increase on last year’s already impressive figure. There have also been over 5200 telephone contacts for advice and information. WHAC’s counsellors not only continue to provide clients with a high quality, effective service but the Counselling programme at WHAC is valued by partners within Northumberland as integral to the network of support services available to individuals within the County. WHAC has continued in its commitment to see clients quickly and reduce waiting times. WHAC has 9 qualified counsellors and 4 qualified psychotherapists within the team offering this valuable service. The varied and vibrant timetable of courses offered by WHAC has again proved very popular, with 202 enrolments. Courses have been run in topics ranging from Dru Yoga and Indian Massage to Managing Money and Welfare Reform, enabling women and men in Northumberland to enhance their lifeksills, explore new opportunities and continue life-long learning. WHAC has been strengthening our existing partnerships and developing new relationships, so that we are in a position to secure contracts or be commissioned to provide services for vulnerable people across the county. Significant progress has been made on the Northumberland Support and Advice Service (NSAS) project. This will allow services to be delivered to women and men across the whole of Northumberland through contracts and commissioning arrangements. Publicity of this innovative programme and the first contract was signed in early 2013, with both female and male clients already being supported through this valuable service. Sadly, funding from Probation Service for the SWAN project came to an end this year and the programme closed. Staff worked with clients right up until the end of the contract and supported women at risk of offending. With competition for funding becoming ever more intense, WHAC was also delighted to recently receive confirmation from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund of the award of three years’ Core funding. This represents a recognition, not only of the high standard of work, but also of the value and real benefit of WHAC’s services to the community of Northumberland. The Board of Trustees continues to work with staff to look at new funding and commissioning opportunities in order to ensure WHAC continues its work in an incredibly difficult financial environment. WHAC can justifiably be proud of the excellent staff and dedicated volunteers who work hard to deliver the valued and much needed services. A big thank you to all those who contribute to making WHAC a trusted, effective and vibrant organisation. Sarah Kerrigan Vice Chair

Mission Statement WHAC:Aims to provide women and men in Northumberland with free quality counselling, personal development, education and information on issues contributing to their mental health and wellbeing. Offers a confidential service in a safe, supportive environment. Is a needs led independent organisation which aims to offer a flexible and comprehensive service.

Aims To encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own physical, emotional and social well-being and to help them develop a positive attitude. To respond to the needs of women, men, girls and boys aged 14+. To be supplementary and complementary to the services provided by the Health and Social Services. To increase knowledge and confidence through information, workshops, courses and self-help groups.

“Excellent Service, responsive and personal but not invasive� th

Note: At an Extraordinary General Meeting on 6 June 2012 a special resolution was passed to amend the objects of WHAC to allow delivery of the services county wide and also to include men in the client group. See page 18 - Northumberland Support & Advice Service

Contents Attendance Overview................................................................................. 1 Staff Members................................................................................................ 2 Trustees and Volunteers......................................................................... 3 Volunteers........................................................................................................ 4 Volunteer Training..................................................................................... 6 Counselling......................................................................................... 8 Issues dealt with in Counselling.......................................................... 9 Courses and Workshops.......................................................................... 10 Supporting Women around Northumberland (SWAN).......... 14 Support and Advice Services................................................................ 15 Awareness Raising Campaigns..................................................... 16 Collaborative Working..................................................................... 17 Northumberland Support & Advice Service............................. 18 Achievements............................................................................................. 19 Acknowledgements..................................................................................... 20 Financial Report.......................................................................................... 21 Accounts............................................................................................................ 22

Attendance Overview 01/01/2012 – 31/12/2012

No of Clients

Counselling & Assessment Sessions (including SWAN)

(new clients only)

Information & Advice


No of Attendances 1324





One to one sessions



Course Enrolments






Support & Relaxation Groups

Telephone/email Info & Advice Enquiries


• 28 volunteers did over 2,584 hours of work during the year. This does not include attendance at all meetings and training. • A total of 241 clients accessed the counselling service throughout the year each having, on average, 6 sessions not including their initial assessment. • At the year end 36 clients were attending counselling. • 2 male clients registered with NSAS during 2012 • The SWAN project was again very successful with 22 clients attending 182 sessions during the year

“I could not recommend WHAC services enough; they are very supportive & understanding”


Staff Members

Cath Hale


Linda-Jaine Clair

Counselling Co-ordinator

Judith Pleasance

Finance & Quality Assurance Officer

Amanda Sayers

Education and Training Officer

Jen Anderson

Administrator (left 31/03/2013)

Lorraine Burley

SWAN Project Worker (left 31/03/2013)

Sharon Hepplewhite

Health Trainer (employed by Northumbria Healthcare Trust)








“All your staff helped by giving me their respect, their warmth and were able to show in their appearance of how much they like their jobs�


Trustees and Volunteers Board of Trustees Chair Vice Chair Treasurer Secretary

Sarah Abernethy Sarah Kerrigan Mandy Small Declan Baharini

General Board Members Lisa Jenkinson Penny Borgenx Karen Haggerty Jill Scarrx Carol-Anne Coomber*

Volunteers Lucy Bracex Marie Stirzakerx Jennie Robsonx Rebecca Shand* Brenda Potts Sangeeta Murkunde Anna Robinsonx Deborah McLean Mande Stoves Jennifer Anderson* Marjorie Shipton*

Pru Heathcote Elsie Townleyx Christine Carruthers Jayne Hedley Claudia Venosa Ingrid Pittx Lucy Greensmith Jane Lawson Paula Parker* Mikala Richards Emma Hunt*

Audrey Lenthall Ann Smith Elaine Finlayx # Deborah Heron Ruth Chapman Anne Sporne Linda Ainsleyx DeniseTempletonx Sue Saunders Viv Brooksx

Joined since last AGM * Left since last AGM × Still involved with WHAC on a non volunteer basis #

“Being a volunteer at WHAC enables me to contribute to the community whilst building my own skills in a supportive environment.”



WHAC has a very valuable and dedicated team of Volunteers who provide our highly recommended Counselling Service and we also have our invaluable Support and Advice Service which allows additional help to particularly vulnerable clients who may need more tailored support. This includes working 1-2-1 with clients who may need support to attend appointments i.e. housing, homelessness and who are experiencing financial difficulties. There are also Volunteers who work primarily on administration and another Volunteer who offers free relaxation sessions to centre users. We are fortunate to have such a wide range of skills and experience that enables us to provide such a specialist service. Volunteers are supported by paid staff that have overall responsibility for the day to day running of the centre. We currently have 9 Counsellors are all qualified to either degree/diploma level who deal with a wide range of issues client’s present with. Training is ongoing throughout the year and updates around Child Protection/Safeguarding, changes to the law around Domestic Violence are crucial to their knowledge. WHAC is a very forward thinking Organisation and ongoing training is identified by Volunteers and Staff through robust evaluation and Survey Monkey. WHAC also works closely with the Northern Guild of Psychotherapy with 4 qualified and 3 trainee Psychotherapists. This service is additional to and enhances our highly recommended Counselling service. Psychotherapists work in the longer term which means that clients with more complex needs can be provided with the best possible outcome. The management of the organisation lies with the Board of Trustees, who are also Volunteers. There are currently 7 trustees with backgrounds in housing, health, family law, education, community development, mental health, regeneration and skills in HR, finance, project management, partnerships and commissioning. Volunteers give the precious gift of time to the services of WHAC, and give added value to the service. A huge thanks to all Volunteers who have supported WHAC in the past year.

Anyone interested in Volunteering, please contact the centre on 01670 853977 or alternatively email


A Volunteer’s Story

I began volunteering at the Women’s Health Advice Centre as support admin in September 2010 after 7 years of unemployment. Initially, I felt my old brain wouldn’t have enough grey cells left to take in all I was learning but I was wrong. Everyone was so helpful and supportive and really made me feel welcome and I feel I have become a valuable member of a smashing group. I didn’t know this place existed but have been amazed at the work WHAC does to help support the vulnerable women of the area. I couldn’t imagine not coming in here twice a week to do my bit. It has enabled me to keep up to date with office procedures and computer systems but most of all it has helped being around a great bunch of women, staff, volunteers and users of the service alike. Anne Sporne Support Volunteer “The amount of work put into WHAC helping people who need it is very important. They are very reliable and take you through your sessions at your own pace.”

“My counsellor at WHAC was superb, couldn’t have had a better service. Well pleased.”


Volunteer Training Much of the year was spent working with volunteer Counsellors to complete the first and second runs of WHAC’s Volunteer Counsellor Training accredited by NCFE. By January 2013 a total of 12 Counsellors had achieved their Level 3 qualification (picture below shows three of the candidates receiving their certificates) and had earned well deserved accreditation. The examiner from NCFE stated “WHAC’s team has made the course not only enjoyable and comprehensive, but have also increased learner confidence and skill levels in this sector. Well done.” Praise is due to the Volunteer Counsellors for their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment to the course. Other events for staff and volunteers included: • Safeguarding Awareness – Child Protection and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, provided by Northumbria Youth (January 2013). This learning from this training session has resulted in greater awareness of how to implement WHAC’s safeguarding procedures. • ‘Change’ training day – dealing with changes around WHAC’s counselling procedures, case studies and supervision (April 2013). • WHAC Away Day June 2012 at The Village Hotel, Newcastle. This was an opportunity for staff and volunteers to participate in discussions and workshops around future plans for WHAC. The event was followed up with a short questionnaire to survey training and support needs of staff and volunteers.

Volunteer Counsellor Training 2012


“Today was very informative & well facilitated. The work we did throughout the day was made fun & enjoyable. I felt very positive at the end of the day. It was a great group away day”

WHAC Away Day 2012

External Training Supported by WHAC Safeguarding Children (July 2012) 5 Volunteers attended Transgender Equality and The Law 2 Volunteers attended Working With Adults of Sexual Violence (September 2012) 1 Volunteer and 1 Staff Member attended City and Guilds PTLLS (July 2013) 1 Staff Member attended

Mental Health First Aid & Youth Mental Health First Aid (2012 / 2013) 1 Volunteer and 1 Staff Member attended

Comments / feedback “Manda & Linda worked well. They combined calmness, knowledge, drive, purpose and organisation to deliver an informative course” (NCFE Volunteer Counsellor Training 2012)

“Very worthwhile attending, informative, relevant and has left me with actions to take forward” (Safeguarding Awareness 2013)

Linda Jaine Clair, Counselling Co-ordinator & Amanda Sayers, Education & Training Officer.


Counselling WHAC offers a free one to one confidential counselling service, which is delivered by qualified/trainee volunteer counsellors & psychotherapists. We have organisational membership to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and are bound by its code of ethics. 1324 sessions were carried out this year which is a 28% increase on last year. The graph below shows how clients attending counselling during 2012 showed improvement in their Mental Health and Well being. A score of around 51 shows good mental health and well being.

Issues Most clients come with more than one issue, with most experiencing some level of mental health e.g. depression/anxiety, suicidal. Over 50% have presented with various levels of Domestic/sexual violence. We work closely with Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), which assesses the needs of high risk, vulnerable clients.

Evaluation Clients who have agreed to be contacted are asked to complete a form about the counselling process. We also contact these clients to complete a form 3 months after the counselling has ended which provides a snapshot of their mental health and well being. This information is used to produce a report the latest can be seen on WHAC’s website -

We have also noted a high number of clients with issues around bereavement.

Clients Due to funding received from the Lily Matthews fund and Community Safety, we were able to see male clients as well as women. Men are seen in alternative venues as WHAC remains a women only Centre. We also see women at alternative venues when needed.

Monitoring Regular monitoring is carried out to ensure that clients are receiving the service they deserve and also who refers or recommends them to WHAC. The majority are from health services however, there is an increase in referrals from other organisations.

Thank you for the dedication of the volunteer counsellors and psychotherapists; under the supervision of Linda-Jaine Clair who oversees this vital service.


Issues Presented by women attending counselling assessment sessions.

ISSUES KEY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Women’s Health Issues e.g. Menopause/PMT/Infertility Physical Health problems e.g. STD’s, Mastectomy Mental Health e.g. Stress Depression Abortion Bereavement/ Loss Relationship Problems e.g. Sexual issues/family/relationship breakdown. Drug/Alcohol issues Caring responsibilities Rape/sexual assault including harassment Child Sexual Abuse Domestic Violence – Physical violence/bullying Relatives/carers affected by abuse/trauma Self esteem/body image Work related issues Suicidal Financial Anger Management Eating Disorders Life Stages/Choices

This graph demonstrates some of the issues that are presented at assessment. Mental Health issues continue to be the main reason for women attending counselling. We do have a high proportion of women contacting us who experience domestic violence however, in many cases these women can’t or don’t want to be contacted for evaluation purposes for personal safety reasons. There is also a high number who are or have been feeling suicidal as well as those experiencing bereavement and loss. 166 women were seen for assessment in 2012 and all presented with more than one issue.


Courses and Workshops Another busy year for Training & Education with a number of courses, workshops, events and opportunities to engage with WHAC’s clients, service users, volunteers and staff and also work in partnership with other organisations and individuals. WHAC’s courses have focused on addressing health & wellbeing, including physical, mental and emotional health, financial health and personal development. In the year to March 2013 WHAC offered: • Feel Good – How to be happy and confident • Tai Chi • Creative Writing • Workshops on writing fiction, life stories and poetry • Just Jhoom • Relaxation (drop in) • Empowering women

• Indian Head, Arm & Hand Massage • Family Zumba and Zumba Gold (50 years and over) • Dru Yoga • Managing Money • Energy Best Deal • Welfare Reform • Expressive Arts

In addition to the key courses in Creative Writing, Tai Chi and the Relaxation drop in, WHAC has added Dru Yoga, which has built steadily, becoming very popular and has a number of dedicated participants. Levels of interest and enrolment for the courses varied, with a total of 202 enrolments over the year. A few events were cancelled due to lack of take up, although more positively a number of the courses were oversubscribed and the Dru Yoga in particular has had additional sessions due to demand. Where possible WHAC has tried to take into account the different needs of local people and how we can help to overcome economic, geographic and social barriers to enable access to learning and support. To this end we have offered free courses, single session events, crèche support, family activities and varied the location of events. WHAC continues to work in partnership in delivering learning and strives to use a range of accessible community venues to maximise benefit. I’d like to thank those individuals and organisations who offer their time and resources to WHAC in kind.


Courses and Workshops Participant evaluation of Dru Yoga (6 session course) January 2013 Key 1 - Very poor 2 - Poor 3 - Average 4 - Good 5 - Excellent

The feedback WHAC obtains from people attending workshops is of great value to us to ascertain how courses and workshops can make a difference to people’s health and wellbeing. It’s also a great way to help with planning a range of events for the future. In particular having the new Summer activities enabled us to offer sessions for people to access who would like something that doesn’t take up too much time but can have a big impact - 82% of those attending the Indian head arm & hand massage session felt it benefited their wellbeing and 100% would recommend the session to others. Part of the year to date has been spent planning for a new and exciting mental health creative arts project called Loose Ends to be delivered from September 2013 in partnership with Headway Arts, Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Trust and WHAC. This will culminate in an exhibition in Spring 2014. Anyone who would like to find out more, or get involved, please contact WHAC. There is so much to look forward over the next year, supporting clients, engaging with service users, developing learning opportunities, working with staff and volunteers and continued partnership working with tutors and organisations. Being part of continuing the excellent work of WHAC is a real privilege.

Amanda Sayers Education & Training Officer


Courses and Workshops Some of the comments we received from course participants “I’ve enjoyed the course and I’m sure it will benefit me for the future. I know I have taken some things from it which will help” (Feel Good!)

“The workshop was very good and you’ve given memories and inspiration”

“Fab’ job at targeting all ages” “Really enjoyed it!”

(Telling Stories)

(Just Jhoom)

“Very, very good” (Just Poetry)

“I nearly didn’t come but very pleased I did as it has been so beneficial to my health...”

“Brilliant – everyone was smiling”

(Creative Writing)

(Zumba Gold)

“Having never done anything like this for years, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I will certainly look for something similar in future – thank you for getting me off my backside!!”

“Fab course, great ideas, lots of new friends” (Creative Writing)

(Zumba Gold)

“After 3 sessions my mind had quietened down.... then I could concentrate on what I was doing..... Improved movement and suppleness”

“The instructor was inspirational and informative. Very enjoyable. Thank you”

(Dru Yoga)

(Family Zumba)

“The tutor is smashing. It is an easygoing session very enjoyable and it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or experienced – you will feel the benefit. Highly recommended, long may it continue!”

“I’ve done yoga for years and think this is the best one I’ve done – really great class and tutor” (Dru Yoga)

(Tai Chi)


Courses and Workshops Everyone enjoyed taking part

Dru Yoga

Tai Chi

Just Jhoom



Support For Women Around Northumberland (SWAN)

The SWAN project ran successfully for three years. It was a partnership between Escape Family Support, Women’s Health Advice Centre, Fourth Action and Relate. Its objective was to reduce the re-offending of female offenders or those at-risk of offending. The project covered the whole of the county. Unfortunately the project discontinued at the end of March 2013 due to lack of funding. During its three years the women that were supported showed a very low reoffending rate with Zero reoffending in the first half of the project. Thank you to Lorraine Burley for her hard work and commitment to the women she saw for counselling and also thank you to the partner organisations that proved how working together can enhance the client experience. Below is a brief case study written by Lorraine, which is a typical SWAN client experience. Sessions attended: 15 Client significant issue was alcohol. Whilst working with client, work was done on her experience of childhood Domestic Violence. We were able to make links between her childhood and her issue with alcohol. During the counselling sessions it became apparent that the client had feelings of guilt regarding the impact her drinking had on her family, the fact that they had witnessed her being arrested when she became drunk and violent. The client did a lot of work around her anger issues recognising that often what lay beneath the surface of her anger were feelings of low self-esteem/confidence. At the end of our counselling the client had virtually stopped drinking and had changed behaviour patterns becoming less volatile. Client recognised she had choices and could create a better future.


Support and Advice Services The Support and Advice Services are delivered by volunteers who support clients receiving advice in such matters as debt, benefits advice, family law and housing. We work with DAWN (Advice) Ltd, Citizens Advice Bureau, Northumberland County Council Homlessness Section and Council Tax Section as well as private landlords. Our volunteers can help complete forms and accompany clients to appointments with outside agencies if necessary. Here is an example of the help one of our Support Volunteers, Anne Smith, has provided: Jackie (not her real name) was referred to me by the Counselling Coordinator as she needed further assistance from the Support and Advice Service at WHAC. Assistance given was to accompany her to the local council office to enquire about housing available and a subsequent meeting with the Vulnerable Person’s Officer in Bedlington. A further meeting was also arranged to help Jackie to complete council application forms. Jackie did not feel she could cope with the council herself. However my just being there enabled her to give most of the information required. Her initial anxiety about going on public transport was reduced by talking to her during the journey, so much so that on return to Ashington, she felt confident and determined to walk alone from the bus station to her current accommodation. As regards filling out the required council forms, Jackie was prepared to have a go at completing them herself with the assurance that if she got stuck, I could help. I feel that the support given enables and empowers Jackie to take an active part in her journey to recovery.

Another client using the Support and Advice Service said “I was accompanied to and ESA Tribunal by one of your volunteers. I was able to turn to you when there was no one else to help.”


Awareness Raising Campaigns As part of our health promotion strategy, WHAC has regular displays on health issues to raise awareness and provide information. Articles are included in our internal newsletter too. A number of health issues have been covered including:

• New Year – New You Information on healthy eating and lifestyle, including alcohol and smoking. “Lots of easy to read information – recipes easily made – well done as always.” “Very good – they were informative leaflets and we all need reminding even if we had already been aware”

• Don’t give up giving up Information and advice on stopping smoking and the health and financial benefits of giving up. The campaign was linked in with No Smoking Day 13th March 2013. “Realising what you are inhaling is shocking”

• Sun Safe Advice and information on staying safe in the sun and the damaging effects the sun can have on your body. •

Mental Health (combined with Tea & Talk with cake open day) A fun day with the emphasis on looking after your mental health. 24 people attended and had the opportunity to gain information on mental health care and speak with a counsellor. The Health Trainer was also on hand to take blood pressure and give advice on healthy lifestyle.


Collaborative Working WHAC is represented on steering groups and local initiatives including: • • • • • • • • • •

Northumberland Mental Health & Well Being & Work Group Northumberland Mental Health Promotion Group Domestic & Sexual Violence Thematic Group VCS Assembly Northumbria Healthcare Engagement Events Vision Group SWAN Steering Group Rape Steering Group South East Northumberland Domestic Violence forum North East Women’s Network

Representation at these forums and meetings allows WHAC to maintain networks, contribute to consultations, improving services for WHAC clients by acting as advocates, based on experience of delivering services. Other Partnerships The services link to a variety of outside partners, some are listed below: • NCFE • NHS North of Tyne • DAWN (Advice) Ltd • CAB • Housing organisations • Mental Health Services • Northern Guild of Psychotherapists • Public Safety Unit • Northumbria Care Trust (Health Trainers) • Freelance Tutors & Counselling Supervisors


Northumberland Support & Advice Service (NSAS) A project developed to extend Women’s Health Advice Centre’s services to include men and young people.

Northumberland Support and Advice Service was developed following consultation with staff, volunteers and referrers at WHAC. Extensive external evaluation commissioned by WHAC made recommendations to address issues around future funding and gaps in the services in Northumberland. Since April we have trialled a contract with Job Centre Plus, which already has positive outcomes. Through commissioning or contracts NSAS offers bespoke support to women and men 14+ referred from external organisations to providing: • •

counselling, 1-1 support and courses. new services to boys (14+) and men, building on existing services to girls and women, as well as a number of specific highly vulnerable client groups (including issue based: sexual violence, domestic abuse, care leavers, exoffenders, transgender, lesbian and gay, depression, trauma) a tailored and flexible service to meet individual needs, based on initial assessment and recommending a range of appropriate support for individual clients, which is then negotiated and agreed with the commissioning partner, whoever is ‘buying in’ the service

NSAS can provide training to external organisations which can include: • • • • • • • • • • •

Domestic Abuse Awareness Suicide & Depression Awareness Wellbeing at Work Workshop Rape & Sexual Assault Workshop / Rape & Sexual Assault Awareness Training Sexual Abuse Workshop / Sexual Abuse Awareness Training Self Harm & Young People Workshop Managing Depression Workshop Loss & Bereavement Awareness Training Action Learning Workshop Mental Health Equality Workshops Working with groups – facilitation skills training

This is a new and exciting venture for WHAC and we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead. For more information about NSAS visit


Achievements Better Health at Work

Fundraising A number of our supporters now donate to WHAC on a regular basis with others making one off donations to support our services. A number of people have also held sponsored events to raise funds on our behalf. In the last financial year £4,302 was donated or raised by individuals. A big thank you to you all.

Continuing Excellence

We really appreciate any support given so if you are taking part in an event why not raise funds for WHAC. You can create a fundraising page at for online sponsorship, or via our own website using the ‘Start fundraising with Just Giving’ button or if you prefer we can supply printed sponsor forms.

WHAC were presented with their North East Better Health at Work Continuing Excellence Award by Stephen Miller, Paralympian Gold, Silver & Bronze Medallist at the Celebration Event at Holiday Inn, Gosforth on 7th February 2013.

You can also donate by cash, cheque direct to the Centre or via our website using the ‘Donate with Just Giving’ button.

The assessors said “Excellent portfolio which demonstrated the amazing work carried out by the organisation. Congratulations to all – we look forward to working with you over the coming year as you continue to pass on the health and wellbeing message to women and their families in the area.”

Breaking News We have today (17th Sept) received the fantastic news that The Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund has awarded WHAC £402,970 over the next three years (2013-16). We are extremely grateful to the Lottery for their continued support.

First NSAS Work Preparation work completed for the partnership with Job Centre Plus offering their customers holistic support.

This funding will allow us to develop our NSAS project (see page 18) so we can become more self sustainable.

The first customer was seen in May 2013 so watch this space for further updates.

Allan Brown, Policy Officer/Co-ordinator of Public Protection Service, Strategic Community Safety sent this message “I am so very very pleased for the team and all the hard and important work you do. This is testament to your commitment to serving vulnerable people within the community. You must be very relieved, well done you” 19


Thank you to the following for Financial Contributions Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Fund Supporting Change & Impact Fund

NHS North of Tyne Northumberland County Council Public Protection Service

Ministry of Justice/ Probation Service Ashington Town Council Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland Survive to Thrive Fund Lily Matthews Fund

Get Set for Digital Individual Donations

We also thank all other partners and organisations we have worked with during the year for their support


Financial Report We have enjoyed continued financial support from The Big Lottery, NHS North of Tyne and Probation Services ( SWAN Project). A number of small grants from varying sources have also kept us going financially but we have also had to use up much of our reserves. Our Gross Income for 2012/2013 was £150,415 with costs of £162,989, the shortfall having to be met from our reserves. At the Year End £87,782 (£100,356 in 2012) was carried forward, of this £31,476 is already committed to existing and future services. 2012-13 was a difficult year with competition for funding becoming increasingly intense. We were in the position that without substantial funding WHAC would be facing closure in October 2013. Fortunately, in September 2013 we secured 3 years core funding from the Big Lottery which will substantially contribute to our sustainability. This will give us the time we need to continue to develop new funding streams and our NSAS project. Individual donations and sponsorships have increased greatly this year and for that we thank everyone who has supported us. It is important both in terms of helping to finance WHAC’s services, but also in terms of raising the profile of the organisation, the issues facing those who use our services and the achievements of both service users and the organisation as a whole. WHAC would need to raise substantial additional funding if it were not for the commitment and contribution of our volunteers. The cost of providing our counselling service during 2012-13, based on ‘Full Cost Recovery’ is shown below using the number of counselling sessions and volunteer hours during the year.

No of Hours Based On Counselling Sessions Volunteer Hours


Cost for Year £50 per hour £66,200


£20 per hour


Finally, on behalf of WHAC Ltd Board of Trustees, we would like to thank all those who have provided their time, financial assistance and donations to the Project.

Mandy Small Treasurer

Judith Pleasance Finance Worker


1 Council Road Ashington Northumberland NE63 8RZ Tel: 01670 853977 Fax: 01670 858984 E-mail: Opening Hours Monday-Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm Friday 9.00am-4.30pm Evening and weekends by appointment only

Company No: 5987640

Charity No: 1119121

2013 annual report  
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