My background is in the arts and art psychotherapy. I have worked or volunteered in the charity sector for over 10 years, both in York and in my hometown, Middlesbrough. I was aware of IDAS through my work in mental health. However, I really came to appreciate what they do when I found myself in need of their support some years ago.
Being an IDAS champion gives me the knowledge and support to effect change in my community, and to try and help to build a better York.
Not all abuse is violent. Psychological abuse and manipulation can leave emotional scars that are even harder to heal. I decided to become an IDAS champion to both raise awareness in my professional career and to help educate people about psychological and emotional abuse.
I speak to many people who would never call their partner or family member ‘abusive’, as psychological abuse can be subtle and misunderstood. I believe educating people about healthy relationships and building people’s confidence is so important: empowering men and women to feel that they deserve happy and healthy relationships.
Now I work in a social prescribing role based at York CVS and in GP surgeries. As an IDAS champion, I feel confident in speaking to my clients about signs of abuse and the support available to them from IDAS. I also work to educate other professionals and encourage people to complete champions training. You don’t need to be working in the sector. Everyone has the responsibility and tools to raise awareness of abuse.
Being an IDAS champion gives me the knowledge and support to effect change in my community, and to try and help to build a better York. I’m grateful now to be able to give back to IDAS, by getting involved with fundraising events like the York 10K, which I am running in August in a team with my wonderful partner, and amazing mother. IDAS have been there to help me, and so many others, and really are an incredible service.
IDAS Champions seek out opportunities to raise awareness of the services that IDAS provide within their networks and communities. If you would like to become an IDAS Champion, you can find out more here.