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Blog | Using The Training Fund To Embed Trauma-Informed Practice

Blog | Using The Training Fund To Embed Trauma-Informed Practice

Blog | Using The Training Fund To Embed Trauma-Informed Practice

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Gary is the Director of Care and Support at Druglink, a substance misuse charity based in Hertfordshire. Druglink’s mission is to educate people on substances and their effects, in order to drive prevention and stop issues relating to substance misuse happening in the future.

For those already affected by substance misuse, Drug Link provides a recovery and housing service which supports people on their journey. Gary applied to St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity’s Training Fund to enable his whole team of 23 to attend training on Trauma Informed Practice, provided by Hilary Betts.

The purpose of the course was to learn how to implement trauma-informed ways of working, both through organizational changes in the culture and atmosphere and through the adoption of practices to address trauma at the clinical level. 

“We had 23 staff attend, which was a really high amount. Trying to get staff to attend face-to-face training across 2 days, with their already busy workload, can be a challenge in itself, but they really enjoyed it. They found it hugely beneficial.” 

The prevalence of trauma in people who have experienced homelessness, and those who have experienced substance misuse, is extremely high. Because of this, the training was incredibly useful for everyone on Gary’s team, and the funding provided them with an opportunity to learn more and develop their understanding of the people they work with every day. This means the care they are able to offer will inevitably improve.  

“It certainly helped people to understand the complexities of who they are working with. I think it's given a different understanding. There are psychological and behavioral patterns that come as a result of trauma, which lead to people using substances in order to be able to cope.” 

Gary’s team fed back on the structure of the training course: a day of theory, then a day of practical demonstrations:  

“Hilary demonstrated a technique called the emotional freedom technique, which is a tapping exercise that can be self-administered for people. It's very sort of straightforward to teach staff, then for staff to teach to clients. Staff can also use it themselves for their own stress. Staff really enjoyed that element, and are now asking if we can get further training in implementing these techniques.” 

Another benefit of Gary’s team attending the course is that it has inspired staff on their learning and development journeys. This is beneficial not just for staff members but for the people they support every day.  

“I think one of the good byproducts of attending is that it's led them on to thinking about what other training would be helpful for them.” 

If you are a frontline worker or team and have identified a training course that will help you in your current work with people experiencing homelessness, but your organisation is not able to fund it, we may be able to help. Individuals can apply for up to £500 to cover the cost of training and groups can apply for up to £1,500.

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