Derbyshire Victim Services

We are an independent charity working across Derbyshire to support victims of crime. We work as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s CORE team. This is a group of organisations that have agreed to work together to give the best possible support to victims of crime. All of our services are provided free of charge. We provide practical and emotional help through befriending, signposting, support with compensation claims, and assistance with whatever people need to help them cope and recover. We work with a wide range of specialist support providers across the county and can provide any help people might need in accessing these services. Whatever level of help people need, that’s what we are here to provide.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Our service offers a helpline 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays 9-1pm. We provide a compassionate ear and the expertise to safely and efficiently put vulnerable people in contact and under the care of the relevant services. We provide face to face and telephone support to individuals affected by a range of personal crises, often coming into contact with those whose lives have been deeply affected by suicide. Our staff are all trained in suicide prevention, through accessing certified training programmes such as those run by Samaritans. We provide the people we work with information on what to do in a crisis, and resources to support them in their struggle with suicidal thoughts. We walk alongside these individuals, signposting to specialist services such as Samaritans, Papyrus and CALM, and providing consistent, person-centred support along the way.

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What are your current priorities?

We are committed to helping victims of crime in Derbyshire cope and recover, by enabling them to feel safe and promoting their mental and physical wellbeing.  It is our priority that everyone in the Derbyshire county is aware of our service, and is given the opportunity to access our support, often in the most desperate situations of their lives. We are devoted to regular training for all staff, so that we are able to offer informed and professional support to all individuals, equipped with current and specialist knowledge and skills. We are always seeking out resources and tools that we can provide to people, such as the Staying Alive app, that will equip them to combat thoughts of suicide, or support loved ones.

Lastly, we are linked in with the local approach to suicide prevention through the Derbyshire Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum (DSSPPF). Building on the strategic framework released by this forum, we have put together a mental health policy to ensure the mental wellbeing of our staff. This includes our foundational ethos surrounding mental wellbeing, and the responsibility of all staff members to proactively support each other. We have also implemented workplace systems to enhance mental wellbeing amongst staff, such as a buddy system and team supervision. All staff have regular access to clinical and management supervision, as well as access to an external counselling support line.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

We are always on a mission to increase our visibility across Derbyshire, whether in local schools, workplaces or communities. To do this, we regularly work alongside other services, seeking to provide a cohesive multi-agency approach, as well as providing community-facing events and services for the public.

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