By Mandy Wilmot Volunteer Manager Volunteering Matters/ Gan Mandy Wilmot Rheolwr Gwirfoddoli Volunteering Matters

Before I became a youth worker I was working with victims of crime, consistently seeing a cycle of victim/perpetrator/victim and the large number of repeat victims it was quite obvious that there were commonalities between them.

 The majority were ‘vulnerable’ and did not appear to have many coping mechanisms, or would self-medicate in order to try and cope with their situations. Chaotic lifestyles and unhealthy, often abusive relationships, was very often present and this affected their mental and physical health.

 When I started work with Volunteering Matters I could see that these young people were already showing clear signs of heading towards similar situations and lifestyles. Their development and health were already affected and was putting them at risk of criminal behaviours and a health harming lifestyle. I know through working with them that they often have difficult home lives and as a youth worker it can be quite hard to break through their challenging behaviour and talk to them about what is happening in their lives - and some services just end up giving up on them.

 When I started to read about ACE and the work that was going on in Wales, it immediately resonated with our experiences of the young people we worked with. When the opportunity was offered for the ‘train the trainer’ course I knew that this was going to be very important for our organisation and all youth services.

 I really enjoyed the training- giving a language to what we know and see from the young people we work with. Others on the course also felt the same: things clicked into place, and there was a shared understanding. It gave us an opportunity to reflect on our current practices and move forward with a trauma- informed approach- providing the tools for us to make a real change, and to break the cycle.

 In my role as ‘Change Champion’ I organised a training day with all our staff from our Gwent office. The materials from the training were great- easy to present and impactful. The staff really enjoyed it and we had the opportunity to be creative about how we can further develop our knowledge and skills. These include strength based approaches and incorporate the course’s ideas into practice. We have started to work on implementing the toolkit as a framework, in order to become an ACE informed organisation.

 

Key areas of implementation for us so far have included: having ACEs as a standing agenda item in our team meetings; adapting our referral forms to incorporate the collection of information around ACEs, as well as how this may impact on a young person’s vulnerability; and, crucially, identification of secondary trauma from ACEs through the support and supervision of all staff.

 Staff have said that they feel more confident when responding to our young people’s needs, and have more understanding of the underlying causes of trauma. We have since held another training course for new staff members, peer mentors and trainee youth workers from partner agencies, including Cwmbran Centre for Young People and Cyfannol Women’s Aid. We want to continue to do this on a regular basis with more of our partners so we all have a common language and approach and work more effectively together.

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About Volunteering Matters                        

  • Volunteering Matters is the UK’s leading organisation on volunteering policy and practice.

  • The charity inspires people to transform their lives and the lives of others through the power of volunteering

  • Last year we enabled over 20,000 volunteers to support 86,000 people across the UK

www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk

@volunteering_uk

                       

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Cyn i mi ddod yn weithiwr ieuenctid, roeddwn yn gweithio gyda dioddefwyr troseddau, gan weld yn gyson cylch dioddefwr / troseddwr / dioddefwr, a’r nifer fawr o ad-ddioddefwyr, roedd yn weddol amlwg yr oedd pethau cyffredin rhyngddynt.

 Roedd y mwyafrif yn ‘agored i niwed’ ac nid oedd yn ymddangos bod ganddynt lawer o ddulliau ymdopi, neu byddant yn hunan-feddyginiaethu er mwyn ceisio ymdopi â'u sefyllfaoedd. Yn aml iawn, roedd ffyrdd anhrefnus o fyw a pherthnasoedd  camdriniol yn bresennol ac roedd hyn yn effeithio ar eu hiechyd meddwl a chorfforol.

 Pan ddechreuais weithio gyda Volunteering Matters, roeddwn yn gallu gweld bod y bobl ifanc hyn eisoes yn dangos arwyddion clir o fynd tuag at sefyllfaoedd a ffyrdd o fyw tebyg. Roedd eu datblygiad a'u hiechyd yn cael eu heffeithio eisoes ac yn eu rhoi mewn perygl o ymddygiadau troseddol a ffordd o fyw sy'n niweidio iechyd. Rwy'n gwybod trwy weithio gyda nhw yr oedd yn aml bywydau cartref anodd ganddynt a gall fod yn weddol anodd i weithiwr ieuenctid dorri trwy eu hymddygiad heriol a siarad â nhw am yr hyn sy'n digwydd yn eu bywydau; mae rhai gwasanaethau yn rhoi'r gorau iddyn nhw yn y pendraw.

 Pan ddechreuais ddarllen am ACE a'r gwaith a oedd yn mynd ymlaen yng Nghymru, fe wnaeth hynny’n cyfateb yn syth i'n profiadau o'r bobl ifanc yr oeddem yn gweithio â nhw. Pan gynigiwyd cyfle i fynychu cwrs ‘hyfforddi'r hyfforddwr’ roeddwn yn gwybod y byddai hyn yn bwysig iawn i'n sefydliad a'r holl wasanaethau ieuenctid.

 Fe wnes i fwynhau’n fawr yr hyfforddiant, sy’n rhoi geiriau i'r hyn yr ydym yn ei wybod a'i weld gan y bobl ifanc yr ydym yn gweithio gyda nhw. Roedd eraill ar y cwrs hefyd yn teimlo'r un peth: pethau wedi'u clicio i’w lle a chyd-ddealltwriaeth. Rhoddodd gyfle i ni fyfyrio ar ein harferion presennol a symud ymlaen gydag ymagwedd sy'n seiliedig ar drawma - gan roi'r offer i ni wneud newid go iawn, a thorri'r cylch.

 Yn fy rôl fel ‘Pencampwr dros Newid’, trefnais ddiwrnod hyfforddi gyda'n holl staff yn ein swyddfa yng Ngwent. Roedd deunyddiau’r hyfforddiant yn wych - yn hawdd eu cyflwyno ac yn ddylanwadol. Fe wnaeth y staff ei fwynhau'n fawr a chawsom y cyfle i fod yn greadigol ynglŷn â sut y gallwn ddatblygu ein gwybodaeth a'n sgiliau ymhellach. Mae'r rhain yn cynnwys dulliau sy'n seiliedig ar gryfder ac yn ymgorffori syniadau’r cwrs yn ymarferol. Rydym wedi dechrau gweithio ar weithredu'r pecyn cymorth fel fframwaith, er mwyn dod yn sefydliad sy'n wybodus o ran ACE.

 

Mae'r meysydd gweithredu allweddol i ni hyd yma wedi cynnwys: cael ACE fel eitem agenda sefydlog yn ein cyfarfodydd tîm; addasu ein ffurflenni atgyfeirio er mwyn cynnwys casgliad gwybodaeth am ACE, yn ogystal â sut y gallai hynny effeithio ar fregusrwydd person ifanc; ac, yn hanfodol, adnabod trawma eilaidd gan ACE trwy gefnogaeth a goruchwyliaeth pob aelod o staff.

 Mae staff wedi dweud eu bod yn teimlo'n fwy hyderus wrth ymateb i anghenion ein pobl ifanc, ac bod ganddynt fwy o ddealltwriaeth o achosion sylfaenol trawma. Ers hynny, rydym wedi cynnal cwrs hyfforddi arall ar gyfer aelodau newydd o staff, mentoriaid cyfoed a gweithwyr ieuenctid dan hyfforddiant o asiantaethau partner, gan gynnwys Canolfan Pobl Ifanc Cwmbrân a Chymorth i Fenywod Cyfannol. Rydym am barhau i wneud hyn yn rheolaidd gyda mwy o'n partneriaid er mwyn i ni gyd gael iaith ac ymagwedd cyffredin a gweithio gyda'n gilydd yn fwy effeithiol.+

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Ynglŷn â Volunteering Matters

                

• Volunteering Matters yw prif sefydliad y DU ar bolisi ac ymarfer gwirfoddoli.

• Mae'r elusen yn ysbrydoli pobl i drawsnewid eu bywydau a bywydau pobl eraill trwy bŵer gwirfoddoli

• Y llynedd fe wnaethom alluogi dros 20,000 o wirfoddolwyr i gefnogi 86,000 o bobl ledled y DU

www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk

@volunteering_uk

Ellie Toll