About One Voice 4 Travellers
One Voice 4 Traveller s is a Community-based charity working with individuals, families, and groups from the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma community across East Anglia in a supportive, advocacy and community development role.
Building bridges of understanding and developing engagement and dialogue between the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma community and service providers in a sustainable way.
We work National building bridges of understanding and facilitating positive engagement and dialogue.
Through our many and varied projects, we support members of the community on issues of Domestic Abuse.
We work with service providers to develop the cultural competence of service access, provision, and engagement of community members.
We undertaking project preventive work to reduce violence to and from the Community In a sustainable way that develops confidence and self-esteem in community members to make informed life choices.
We are a charity and a limited company our charity number: 1152377 and our Company number: 6350995
The Seven key values that underpin our work are Reducing Violence, Equality, Anti-Discrimination, Social Justice, Collective Action, Community Empowerment, and Working and learning together.
Our mission is to reduce violence and promote equality of opportunities and good relationships between Gypsy and Travellers and the settled community in a sustainable and integrated manner.
(Violence is defined as physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse)
- Confidentiality: all our work is confidential
- Culturally appropriate: because we are Gypsies and Travellers ourselves we are able to provide culturally appropriate services and to advise other service providers and policymakers
- Non-judgemental: we do not take sides in a dispute but we help each side to articulate grievances in a non-violent way and to seek a mutually acceptable solution
- Professional: we have a full range of policies and procedures to ensure a professional approach in all that we do.
One Voice 4 Travellers was founded by an informal group of women in 2005. The name ONE VOICE was chosen because together our individual voices become a communal voice to be heard. We were concerned about domestic violence and violence in general within the community and we wanted to become a positive change maker.
Having decided on an aim and direction we attracted a growing membership and the skills and experience of women who had been involved with business and setting –up of interest groups through their work in the charitable sector.
We devoted our personal time and resources to developing the necessary skills and abilities within the group, formulating policies and procedures, developing strategies for reducing violence to and from the community, and dealing practically with domestic violence in a sustainable and progressive way. During this time we managed to obtain small pots of funding to undertake projects throughout the Region.
In 2007 ONE VOICE became a limited company and in 2009 the organization was accepted for registration as a charity.
One Voice structure
Today ONE VOICE is considered by many service providers to be an excellent example of an up and coming community organization that can be relied upon for best practice of working with the Gypsy and Traveller community.
ONE VOICE has a board of eight members who meet eight times a year and is responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the organization.
There is a staff team of two full-time managers (PQASSO Mentors and Leadership Managers), three part-time field workers. On a day to day basis, the two full-time managers oversee the organization between them, (one covering Norfolk, Peterborough, Herts. Beds and north Cambridgeshire and the other covering South Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and London area).
We have a membership base of over 160 members or volunteers who contribute a range of skills and varying amounts of time to our work.
Volunteering is a vital part of One Voice and supports the work of the organization in a variety of ways.
Potential volunteers are interviewed and, if accepted, must undergo an enhanced CRB check before taking on any work with our organization. They must then work through our induction checklist for staff and volunteers which included reading or having read to them, our policies and procedures. We also ask them to agree to our volunteer agreement and to fill in the ‘Health declaration form’ or at the permission to consent to medical treatment section.
Volunteers are given individual monthly supervision and are made fully aware of our internal grievance/complaints procedure. All volunteers work with a project manager to agree on a training programme, which will develop and enhance their skills and we positively encourage the transfer of skills through ‘shadow work’ and internal training. Volunteers undertake child protection and vulnerable adult training on a regular basis so that they are up-to-date on procedures of work.
To allow our group to be as inclusive as possible all our systems are run on traffic light coordination and sign framework and we try where at all possible to use plain English and have a SCOR rating of 11 for reading a document.
Achievements to date
We have run a number of successful projects including the following:
- The Healthy Living and Emotional Wellbeing Project in partnership with Buckinghamshire PCT and Buckinghamshire New University. We recruited and trained outreach health advocates from Gypsy and Traveller sites to engage with women, particularly young mothers and older women, to offer advice and information on their families’ health needs, such as accessing screening for cardiovascular health and diabetes; healthy eating; emotional wellbeing and access to social care support. This project benefited about 60 families across South Buckinghamshire. For which we were awarded the Health and Social Care Award 2in 2010
- The STAR project providing advice, information, and advocacy to Gypsy and Traveller women over 50. We encouraged them to access statutory services and employed a mental health advocate to work with individual women who had emotional and mental health needs. The result of our advocacy work was that 50 elderly Gypsy and Travellers were found permanent accommodation
- In a racism project funded by Advice UK, we collaborated with the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality to make a film to raise awareness of discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers and to challenge it. ONE VOICE worked with the community across Suffolk to capture stories for the film.
- We have worked within Norfolk to become the first 3rd party reporting Centre for Gypsy and Traveller women and girls around Domestic violence and abuse. This enables women and girls to report incidences of domestic violence and abuse either giving details or anonymously and is based on the DASH and MARAC system of reporting.
- Work with the Heritage Trust to establish stories from World War Two from East Anglia.
- Work is undertaken with women and girls to look at how they use to live in comparison with modern day living.
From the various projects, we have produced CD’s consisting of:-
- ‘It’s not just a Traveller thing’ Gypsy and Traveller women discussing domestic violence and abuse.
- ‘Youth talk on Domestic Violence’ Gypsy and Traveller youth (male and female) talk frankly about domestic violence and abuse.
- Under the Eastern Sky’s- Women and girls talking about their lives in the past compared to modern day living.
We have received a number of awards:
- 2010 Charity Award from the PCT for our work with families to access health services.
- 2010 REC: Suffolk Champion Award for volunteering work
- 2010 Norfolk EDP: Norfolk People of the Year Award for work with victims of domestic abuse.
- PQASSO Level 2 quality assurance
- 2012 managers Janie Codon received M.B.E and Shirley Barrett received B.E.M in Queens honors list
- Sue Poole award 2012 for work in Suffolk.
- Racial Harmony Award Bedfordshire for working with communities
- 2015 One Voice was runner-up in the Centre of Learning award in Suffolk
- 2016 One of our volunteers was runner-up in ‘Learner of the year’ In Suffolk
- 2016 Four members of One Voice 4 Travellers achieved ‘Domestic Violence Community Champions’ Status
Some of the Training and development we have undertaken with partners
- Worked with Suffolk and Norfolk probation service to undertake cultural awareness training.
- Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Service
- Prison Service
- Suffolk and Norfolk Careers
- Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent Police HQ
- Bedfordshire Councillors
- Domestic Abuse Forums across East Anglia
- Domestic Abuse IDVA’s
- Women’s Aid across England and Wales
- Safe Houses across East Anglia
- Health Services across East Anglia
- Fenland children locality team, Diverse Community Forum
- Norfolk Elderly
- Colleges and schools
- Hospitals and Hospices
- We attained PQASSO Level 2 and are qualified PQSSAO Mentors and have in the past assisted other GRT organizations to implement and or improve their Quality Assurance systems and for some help obtain their PQASSO quality mark
Example of feedback on training
56 staff who attended the training provided and filled in the feedback forms.
Of those, 28 said the standard of the training was excellent and the other 28 said it was good. No one used the “adequate” or “poor” option to this question.
27 said that the style and delivery of the trainers was excellent and 28 said that it was good. One person ticked “adequate”, which is still not negative!
On the question of whether the sessions were paced appropriately, 35 said always, 19 said mostly and one said sometimes, which shows that the pacing was just about right.
On the question of whether the attendees thinking on the matters addressed will develop as a result of the training, 37 said greatly, 18 said moderately and one said it would be in a limited way.
On the question of whether the training will affect working practice 22 said greatly, 29 said moderately and 4 said in a limited way. One person left this question blank.
All 56 said that the training was worth it.
All 56 said that they would recommend the training to colleagues.
“I think that this feedback is really outstanding. It shows that the training was pitched just about right and that it was meeting a very real need. Some of the people who felt that the training would not affect their working practices were administrative staff, but even they thought the training was worthwhile and would recommend it to colleagues”. Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust
We helped individuals to achieve:
- Members of the community were trained internally and received certificates in many subjects including child and vulnerable adult protection and confidentiality.
- Our field workers achieved level 3 NVQ youth work
- A group of young people developed a bid for a county youth fund.
- Youth from the community have been undertaking shadow work with service providers.
- Two young people are undertaking a level 2 City and Guilds Youth Work qualification.
- Two young mothers have undertaken ‘Introduction to Youth Work’
- 12 people were trained in outreach and advocacy work for our healthy Living and Emotional Wellbeing Project.
- 4 people have trained in the Domestic Abuse champions
Services and partnerships
We provide the following services:
- information and support
- outreach and advocacy work
- youth groups
- groups for the elderly
- initiatives to address all forms of violence
- consultation and representation
- training and cultural competency
- Women and girls groups
- Family groups
- Initiatives to address drug and/or alcohol abuse in families
- Fist ever 3rd party reporting for women and girls (Norfolk only)
We also liaise with a range of external bodies on behalf of the Gypsy, Traveller, and Roma communities in East Anglia.
We are members of a number of national and international organisations such as Fair Play for Children, Action 4 Advocacy London, Advocacy Project Washington and members of Essex Advocacy Services and Community Development Network.
Office opening times
The service is available to service users from Monday – Friday for a total of 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, with a contact address for correspondence. We use hot desk facilitation for outreach workers thus utilisations of office space provided by partner service providers will eliminate the cost of separate office facilities and reduce both travel time and cost to deliver this service and enable increased front line service delivery to be provided by support staff. We do also offer a support service for emergency and priority casework outside of the above times such as our Safe Caravans.
OUR FUTURE PLANS
At the present time we have the following projects running which reach people through access to the project:
Individual work with women and girls on issues of domestic violence and abuse
Group work raising the awareness of domestic violence and abuse and where to get information, and help.
Family work – supporting families to look at issues within the family and how to resolve in a non-violent manner, also looking at what services may be available to help them.
Women and girls – women and girls from the community being able to look at and talk about the issue they face around domestic violence and abuse in a secure and safe environment i.e. our Safety caravans
Women and DV – working with a group of women to look at Domestic violence and issue they face on a daily biases
Working with young people and their families around support when a family member is affected by drugs and/or alcohol abuse
Working with Gypsy and Travellers in Suffolk together with Hospitals and Hospices to establish positive protocol of ‘End of life’ care This work will include three CDs one of Gypsy and Traveller community, one of hospitals and hospices and third on coming together and giving cost effective solutions to the barriers identified in first and second CD.
Continuing to undertake 3rd party reporting in Norfolk around domestic violence and abuse, with the aim of extending this to a regional project
Cultural competence Training of services – this is ad hoc when requested by services.
New needs and new development
Continue to expand the ‘safe caravan’ concept.
Work with carers to facilitate access to services, and support to be continued and developed in other counties in line with good practice achieve in Suffolk.
Work on abuse substances and support for family members across East Anglia not just in Cambridgeshire.
Work on support for mental health needs (family and individuals)
Inclusive work with Roma refugees.
Undertake projects on Domestic violence support which have a large geographical area and are long term based.
Work with councils and services to develop the concept of the big society and localism bill through engagement activities with mainstream society.
As a charity, One Voice 4 Travellers has a long history of finding new funding sources for our innovative work to help those vulnerable Gypsy and Traveller s that are not supported by state services. Our collaborations with business, investors, grant-making trusts, individual donors and the state have allowed us the scope to create work, which meets their needs.
We are continuously and actively looking for new opportunities to generate income, we are always willing to investigate the potential of pilot projects, and partnerships, which will help us, make a difference to lives.
The money we receive is very carefully allocated to meet the needs of disadvantaged individuals and families.
We will continue to look for new funding sources for our work and will also re-visit and develop relationships with those who have funded projects with us in the past so that it may be possible to develop the project already undertaken.
Marketing is now a key item on our Board, Management and team meeting agendas. This includes not only looking at projects we have found need undertaking, but also looking at the general economy of the country and indeed world and predications for economic sustainability and trends.