Work across the county is progressing at pace and we continue to be surprised by the changes individuals and organisations are making. It’s a year since we launched it at our inaugural conference, and we are constantly surprised by how the movement has grown here in Gloucestershire. We’ve completed our county-wide film tour, held a one-day summit for professionals from across the UK, met with the author of Viral Change, progressed work across all our sub-groups and held our first Ambassador event.

Awareness and inspiration

Our screening tour of the Resilience documentary has now finished, covering all six districts, from school halls, to sports halls and theatres. We’ve now reached more than a thousand people through the film alone and we know it has inspired people to take action on ACEs in their own organisations and communities.

In October we held out first Ambassador networking event, bringing together 100 like-minded people to share stories, support and talk about how we can keep the network going. We heard stories of change from four areas:

  • The Door Youth Centre in Stroud – how an ACEs approach is becoming even more central to their work with young people and parents
  • Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust Maternity Services – how a pilot scheme is working with parents-to-be to help them understand more about ACEs and supporting them to find help
  • An ambassador for vulnerable children and young people shared her personal story of adversity and what has made her strong
  • Dr Sally Unwin, GP, shared her mission to raise awareness of ACEs amongst her patients and develop a family support app for people in Gloucestershire.

You can find out more about Ambassadors here 

National recognition

We also welcomed professionals from across the UK to find out more about Action on ACEs and our partnership work. We get so many requests from outside of the county to see the great work happening in Gloucestershire that we decided to do dedicate a whole day to facilitating this. Professionals from housing, health, police, public health and charities, from right across England, all gathered to hear from ACEs panel members about our work so far. Find out more.

We were delighted when Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Julian Moss, was awarded honorary membership of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) in recognition of his work to tackle childhood trauma. He is the first Police Officer to receive Honorary Membership from the FPH and he was nominated by Gloucestershire’s Director of Public Health Sarah Scott and Dr. Tanya Richardson, Consultant in Public Health.

Members of the ACEs panel continue to deliver awareness and training sessions on request, including speaking at local, regional and national events. Demand for training is growing and we’re currently developing an e-learning package to share across communities and organisations. We’ve also produced a simple animation to explain more about what we do.

And finally, we were privileged to spend a day with the author of Viral Change, Dr Leandro Herrero. Dr Herrero supports companies with large change projects and is giving his time pro bono to support Action on ACEs. We hope that with his help, we can drive change here in Gloucestershire and across the UK.

Building resilient communities

The communities sub group has made significant progress, with pilots in Kingsholm, Gloucester and St Pauls in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Borough Homes have worked to embed a trauma informed and ACEs aware approach into everything they do, seeing positive results in their work with residents and tenants experiencing trauma.
In Gloucester, the Kingsholm ACE’s pilot is underway following the first ACEs community event at the Roots Café in July, which resulted in over 40 conversations. A mixture of residents, agency partners and visitors to Kingsholm came along. There are now plans to host further community wellbeing events.
The education sub group is working closely with restorative schools and the mental health trailblazer project to ensure a coordinated ACEs approach across Gloucestershire. The first Gloucestershire schools ACEs conference is taking place in March 2020.

Embedding ACEs – informed approaches

The pilot for the children’s commissioning toolkit came to an end in September 2019. Over 30 organisations joined the pilot with some of the organisations choosing to continue to using the tools post – pilot. We have heard so many stories of how the ACEs are being embedded into organisational thinking and day to day practices. The evaluation will be published in early 2020. Find out more about the toolkits pilot

You can view the full Gloucestershire’s ACEs Strategy here.