Launchpad Loan Helps Educate and Support Domestic Abuse Victims in Devon

The inspirationally named Community Interest Company ‘Led By Dreams’ (LBD) is the recipient of the third launchpad loan from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (South West) (H&WCF) managed by social impact investment company Resonance.  The £10K loan will enable the enterprise to expand its programme of educational workshops to NHS medical teams and others in the frontline, so they can recognise the signs of domestic abuse and signpost victims to supporting organizations.

Domestic abuse statistics make sober reading, are woefully underreported and often misunderstood.  For example, 40% of women attend hospital for domestic abuse on the day they die+.  Many victims are refused access to services as they are viewed as low risk, despite the fact that a significant number will one day become high risk and 31% of all homicides (where victim is aged over 16 years) in England & Wales between April 2013 and March 2016++ were recorded as ‘domestic homicides’.

Led By Dreams CIC*, set up and run by Munroe Vincent, herself a survivor of domestic abuse, has identified a significant gap in provision and is responding to a huge demand for its services which was identified following a pilot scheme at South Devon and Torbay NHS Foundation Trust, where they held a number of workshops to skill up front-line medical staff working in departments likely to meet victims such as accident & emergency, maternity, postnatal and sexual health.  The workshops are designed to help medical professionals recognize the signs of domestic abuse, help them understand the best approach when trying to engage with suspected victims and how to signpost them to services which can help support them. LBD aims to increase the awareness and understanding of domestic abuse so that victims, friends, family, employees, professionals and the general public can recognize the signs of domestic violence and abuse, wherever it occurs.

The enterprise has also developed innovative ways of getting information to people who have been identified as at risk of domestic abuse or who may have controlling partners.  Called “Fleeing Packs”, they enable victims to plan an alternative future instead of staying in abusive relationships, which are detrimental to their health and wellbeing. It also has aspirations to produce other interactive tools and resources that can be used by victims or their friends and families “Just in Time” or “Just in Case”.

The Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund is an impact investment fund established with investment from the Growth Fund and South West Academic Health Science Network (SWAHSN).  The Growth Fund is managed by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, and is funded from the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

The Fund seeks to make social impact investment more accessible and relevant to smaller social enterprises looking to expand their operations and impact in the South West linked to the broad theme of Health & Wellbeing. The launchpad loan to Led By Dreams will help the organization build capacity as they look to deliver their recently secured commission from South Devon and Torbay Trust to provide training to their health care professionals for the next three years.  This will help them build a track record of servicing a loan as they develop their long-term plans of opening a drop-in centre and a women’s refuge.

Tom Crook said of working with Led By Dreams: “I’m thrilled Resonance is finally able to support Led By Dreams, albeit in a small way, as we have been in discussions since January 2017.  The impact Led By Dreams provides is huge. We could see from the feedback received following the pilot workshops, that as well as resulting in more people being engaged who used the services and who might be at risk, it also had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people who attended the workshops. It’s great to see their hard work has led to them securing further income from a local commissioner.   We look forward to seeing them continuing to grow their impact and hope to be able to support them in the future with further funding to achieve their aspirations.”

Munroe Vincent from Led By Dreams explains what the loan means to the organization: “We are delighted that Resonance has decided to support us to realize our vision, as trying to secure funding has been a constant challenge.  We are extremely pleased to have secured their support to tackle a national problem, where we believe the negative consequences on health isn’t widely known.  The evidence shows that life expectancy decreases at birth as a consequence of domestic abuse and we want to do something about it.**

“We hope to achieve change in the perception of domestic abuse by using a primary prevention approach, which means trying to reduce the problem through education and awareness that teaches everyone about domestic abuse, the signs, symptoms and how it can affect others.  If no one recognizes the symptoms, it can easily be missed.  This loan will allow Led By Dreams to improve and create additional educational, training and support resources, so that we can reach many more victims and give them the support and direction that will help them become survivors.”

+Source Women & Equality Unit:  Walby, S. (2004) The Cost of Domestic Violence
++Source ONS:  Domestic abuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2017
*Don’t be pushed by your problems, be Led By Your Dreams (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
**Source Public Health Outcomes:

More About Led By Dreams

Led by Dreams CIC aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the impact of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA)
  • Ensure those experiencing abuse are identified
  • Help those suffering DVA get the support or direction they need
  • Offers guidance and support products for the public and victims of Domestic Violence Abuse.

By enabling the public and victims to identify the signs of DVA and taking action through early intervention, less victims will come to harm and the impact on health and societal costs will be reduced.

Led by Dreams runs training workshops for organizations and professionals that helps them to identify victims of DVA.

t/ 07500 531523