LiveWest support domestic violence service

14 August 2018

We have joined forces with North Somerset Council to continue to deliver an essential domestic abuse service.

We have been commissioned to deliver the Gemini Service, which provides safety support and essential pattern changing training to women, men and children who have been affected by domestic violence.

It also provides case management for individuals accessing refuge accommodation.

We acted after learning the Gemini Service was under threat of closure.

We have agreed a contract with North Somerset Council to provide the service until March 2020, which has safeguarded 10 jobs and continues to work collaboratively with Avon & Somerset Police and North Somerset Safeguarding Boards to support families impacted by domestic abuse.

The service comprises three elements –  IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) supporting victims assessed to be at high risk; outreach for people experiencing a medium risk of domestic abuse and pattern training programmes for victims and their children.

The service started with us on Wednesday 1 August 2018. 

We are also delivering the Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service, which was accredited by SafeLives in 2017 as an excellent provider of domestic abuse services.

We recently signed up to the CIH Make the Pledge, recognising that domestic abuse is everybody’s business.

Strategic business manager Mel Thomson, who leads our domestic abuse services in East Cornwall, Somerset and North Somerset, said: “I couldn’t be more pleased that, as an organisation, we can be agile enough to help out our commissioning partners in continuing this vital service by transferring the staff and the service across to us.

“Gemini has been active in North Somerset for a number of years, providing much-needed support and by us acting quickly, this excellent service can continue.”

Louise Branch, Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator at North Somerset Council, said: “Service users of Gemini were adamant that they wanted the excellent support they were receiving to continue and so the council is delighted that LiveWest are able and willing to take over the service. 

“As always, we would like to thank service users for their positive feedback and the Gemini staff team for their dedication to this important work.”