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We're making Wales a Leader in tackling and preventing ACEs.

The ACE Support Hub has been set up to support you in making changes that make Wales a leader in tackling and preventing ACEs. Working with you, our mission is to share ideas and learning, and to challenge and change ways of working so together, we break the cycle of ACEs.

Our 5 Goals

Sharing information and knowledge about ACEs, listening and working with partner agencies who engage with communities, children and families to find solutions that will work.

Sharing evidence about what organisations can do differently to help prevent and mitigate ACEs, and how they support those who have experiences ACEs or trauma.

Developing knowledge and skills among professionals, for them to challenge internal and external networks and drive change.

Learning from each other, sharing information and providing expertise that leads to action.

Driving change by challenging ways of working, throughout Wales.

Meet The Team

The ACE Support Hub has sector expertise, with a team passionate about the ACE agenda and helping you to become ACE Aware and trauma informed in practice.

JOANNE HOPKINS

DIRECTOR FOR ACEs, CRIMINAL JUSTICE & VIOLENCE PREVENTION

“My ambition throughout my career has been to make a difference, and to seek and take opportunities to do so. Some of my proudest achievements have also shaped my life. I developed the first Strategy to eliminate violence against women and girls for the UK Government, something that still is my professional highlight, and to this day I am passionate about tackling all forms of gender based violence and the inequality in society that underpins it. I have been a champion of diversity and inclusion in the Home Office for many years, including chair of the Home Office Women’s network and senior sponsor of the gender equality network.

My ambition is to take the skills and expertise I have acquired from 18 years in the public sector and academic achievements to continue to develop my knowledge about what makes a difference to people, to learn and to keep learning, both academically and just from the experiencing of listening and engaging with people. And supporting others to realise their hopes, dreams and ambitions. And for my family to be proud of what I do.”

VICKY JONES

NORTH WALES LEAD

“My ambition is to put the knowledge of ACE’s and the impact of trauma and adversity into the hands of the public and create Trauma informed communities that nurture a collective us, that grow kind and compassionate neighbourhoods and that recognise people first and foster resilience for our current and future generations.

I am incredibly proud to have worked in the substance misuse field for the last 20 years, formatively as a front-line practitioner and service manager and more recently in Commissioning.  I have worked in a variety of different environments ranging from harm reduction through to recovery-orientated services.  I am passionate about recovery and recognise that peoples journeys are unique.

Although my specialist area of knowledge and experience is substance misuse, this is never in isolation, which has provided a front-line insight into vulnerability factors and their impact. My working career has spanned local authorities, Health board and Voluntary sector organisations, and for the last 14 years I have been working within a partnership environment across complex organisational boundaries.

Most importantly, I’m a Mum of two young girls who like to keep me on my toes but inspire and motivate me every day to want to make a positive and meaningful difference where I live and work.”

NATALIE BLAKEBOROUGH

TRAINING, STRATEGY & SKILLS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

I have worked in the specialist violence against women and girls third sector for 13 years in front line support roles and senior management and my work experience and education prior to this is in youth work in both local authority and third sector organisations. I firmly believe that investing in young people helps to build resilience and supports them achieve their fullest potential.

I have a strong interest, and feel strongly about, preventing adversity and trauma from happening in the first place, but also in preventing further harm by having informed communities and services available to those who experience it. My most recent work has been developing on a whole system approach to addressing violence against women and girls- Welsh Women’s Aid’s “Change That Lasts”. Through this work I have seen first-hand that training individuals alone will not work in achieving lasting change, we need to connect the dots and ensure that the systems we work in enable change rather than resist it.

My career has been shaped by the experiences where women, children and young people have trusted me enough to walk alongside them in their recovery journey. Unfortunately, this experience has also highlighted where systems fail individuals, but I have made it a personal aspiration to challenge those system failures wherever my career takes me, so that we go beyond documenting learning and push for real change so that no child, young person or adult facing adversity and trauma is failed in the future.

The most important role of my life is being a mum to my daughter and my drive every day is fired by knowing she is watching me, and other women, fight for equality so that she has a future without discrimination.

JOSEFF BROMWELL

PROGRAMME SUPPORT MANAGER

Joe joined WHO CC in 2018 supporting the Early Action Together Programme. Joe is an experienced project manager who provides a link between Public Health Wales, the four Welsh police forces, HMPPS and wider partners. Joe also provides support to the Women in Justice Programme, which is taking a multiagency approach to operationalising the Female Offending Blueprint in Wales.

ELLIE TOLL

BUSINESS SUPPORT MANAGER

“I am inspired by the work happening in the ACE Hub, we’ve seen so much change already to tackling ACEs in Wales.

My ambition is to assist the team in all their ventures, particularly in organising events that really engage people in this mission and support the team with all their activities.”

SAMIA ADDIS

SENIOR PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH ASSISTANT

“I am a researcher with a particular interest in the health and well-being of children and young people. I have experience of working on a range of research projects relating to health and social care, particularly the experience of service users and the implementation of service improvements. Within the ACE Support Hub, I will undertake an evidence review of what works in the prevention and early intervention of ACEs at the community level; the review is due for completion in September 2021.”

HUW WILLIAMS

RESEARCHER

I’m a researcher that’s leading on the evaluation of the Youth Justice and Female Offending Blueprints. I’m currently working on research specifications for the Pact Visiting Mum Service and a Gender and Trauma-informed training package. I am also completing a comparative piece of two separate evaluations of the Enhanced Case Management approach. These pieces look to inform the evaluation of different services which will in turn provide recommendations for further roll-out.

EMMA SHEERAN

RESEARCHER

I am a researcher working on a project within the ACE Support Hub to better understand primary prevention opportunities for women experiencing ACEs prior to entering the criminal justice system. This project will develop and test an approach to supporting women in Wales who have experienced ACEs and trauma in adulthood and are at risk of entering the criminal justice system to prevent women from offending.

HENRIETTA OKUNZUWA

PROJECT SUPPORT OFFICER

I am a Project Support Officer who has joined the team to support the TrACE Toolkit work in Wales which assists organisations to embed trauma informed and ACE aware practice. I have previously worked as a voluntary Project Support Officer at my local church and Project Support roles within financial environments.

In my spare time, I love to exercise and spend time with my children.

FFION HUGHES

ADMINISTRATION

I am an administration officer, working across the ACE Support Hub and Violence Prevention Unit (VPU). Whilst providing administrative support to both teams, my focus will also be supporting and providing administration to the VAWDASV Research Network.

Partner Programmes

We work with partners who share our ambition of making Wales a leader in preventing, tackling and mitigating the effects of ACEs. Find out more about them below.

First 1,000 Days Programme

We work with partners who share our ambitions. like the First 1000 Days (F1000D) programme, which aims to give every child in Wales the best start in life. The first 1000 days during pregnancy and up to a child’s second birthday, represent a critical part of childhood when we form attachments to our caregivers, learn how to safely explore and trust the world around us, and start to communicate. It is when the most rapid phase of brain growth and development takes place and where the foundations are laid down for our future health and wellbeing.

Despite our best efforts in Wales, the inequalities persist and we want to ensure that we are doing all that we can to support families at this pivotal time. The F1000D Programme aims to support improved system-working and a shift in focus to evidence-based action in this critical period. It facilitates the F1000D Collaborative, which brings together partners from across public services, third sector and the public to support and challenge each other in thinking and working together differently. If we get it right, we will begin to see the improvements we all aspire to achieve, including;

  • Optimal outcomes from every pregnancy for mother and child
  • Children achieving their developmental outcomes at age 2
  • Fewer children exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the first 1000 days.

If you want to talk to our partners in the First 1000 Days Programme, email F1000D@wales.nhs.uk

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