In an effort to create a more empathetic, understanding and thriving community, Leeds has launched a groundbreaking initiative to recognise and respond to adversity using a trauma-informed approach.

Hosted by Forum Central and the Community and Young People’s Development and Engagement Lead for the Trauma Informed Programme, orientation sessions are being conducted to introduce the Compassionate Leeds: Trauma Awareness, Prevention, and Response for Children and Young People strategy. These sessions aim to shed light on the city’s approach to Trauma Informed Practice, especially regarding working with children and young people. 

The sessions, which are particularly relevant for anyone working in a community or voluntary organisation, including faith groups working with children, young people, and families in Leeds, offer an introduction and valuable insights into the trauma-informed approach being taken in Leeds.

Participants will gain an understanding of how a trauma-informed approach can make a significant difference in the lives of those who have faced adversity. The sessions will be held on a rolling monthly basis for the time being, so there’s plenty of opportunity to join a future session. Anyone interested in participating can register for these free sessions on Eventbrite.

A shining example of developing trauma-informed practice

One brilliant example of a community initiative embracing a trauma-informed approach is Shine Bright CIC, a Community Interest company founded by Nicola Swales. This organisation was established to support the emotional and mental health needs of children and young people across Leeds in response to the challenges made worse by the pandemic.

Nicola, an advanced practitioner in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (W.R.A.P) model, recognised the need for a peer support and recovery approach for children, young people, and their families. In a video reflecting on Shine Bright’s journey, Nicola delves into what they do, explaining how the W.R.A.P model works and how it aligns with trauma-informed practice. The video provides a comprehensive overview of their best practices, project updates, and the successes and challenges encountered so far.

The Shine Bright CIC project was funded as part of the Trauma Informed Communities work, which is a partnership between Forum Central, Leeds Health & Care Partnership and Leeds Community Foundation. Visit Forum Central’s website for more information. 

Trauma-informed practice information hubs

Leeds is also now home to the Compassionate Leeds: Trauma-Informed Practice Information Hub, hosted by MindMate, an online information hub supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. This online platform is a central source of knowledge, offering resources, ideas, and support for individuals and organisations working with children, young people, and families in Leeds.

This hub will develop over time to be a Leeds based wealth of information, empowering professionals with the tools and knowledge needed to develop a trauma-informed approach within their work.

Turning Lives Around and Change Grow Live Leeds Trauma Informed Network annual workshop

In addition, the Leeds Trauma Informed Network is set to host its Annual Workshop on Friday 17 November 2023. This event offers a unique opportunity for professionals in Leeds who work with children, young people, and vulnerable adults to come together, share experiences and insights, and make new connections. Anyone interested in attending can register to attend on Eventbrite.

By embracing a new trauma-informed approach, Leeds is paving the way for a more compassionate future for children, young people and the families they may go on to have.

If you want to receive updates on the Trauma Informed Communities work, you can subscribe to receive future newsletters. And if you missed the September edition, don’t worry – catch up by reading it here.

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