Training course recruits 'Community Champions' in the fight against domestic abuse

PR Date: 
Monday, 2 September 2019 - 2:00pm

An innovative new training course recently hosted by North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC), equipped ‘Community Champions’ with the skills to identify and support domestic abuse victims.

As a result of the course, participants who regularly meet members of the public as part of their day-to-day work, were trained in how to understand domestic abuse, recognise and respond to victims and understand how they can provide information for victims to seek further help and support.

In total 19 delegates from a variety of public service roles, including family support workers, psychotherapists, domestic violence helpline volunteers and Herts Fire and Rescue staff took part and were awarded ‘Community Champion’ status.

The course was delivered by the Stefanou Foundation on behalf of the Herts Sunflower J9 Domestic Abuse Initiative and Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline.

Course delegate Sarah Sutton, a Family Support Worker from the Hertfordshire Family Centre Service said: "I attended the training to gain a better understanding of what services are available in Hertfordshire so, with greater knowledge, we can support families in very difficult situations to move forward effectively."

Cllr Judi Billing, NHDC’s Executive Member for Community Engagement said: "It is vital that we help those affected by domestic abuse to break the cycle and seek help at the earliest opportunity. I extend a huge thank you to those who have chosen to attend this course. By using the knowledge they have gained they really will make a difference to people’s lives."

Christine Duala from the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline said: "It is important to ensure trained Community Champions are updated on a regular basis therefore as a Community Champion these course participants will receive training throughout the a year as well as regular e-bulletin updates around the Champions network."

Amanda McIntyre, Director of The Stefanou Foundation and course trainer said: "If through your work or involvement in the community, people are telling you or even hinting that they are experiencing domestic abuse, this training will build your confidence and knowledge to respond well. We are keen to widen the network of Domestic Abuse Community Champions, including those working in shops, beauty salons or estate agents and those involved in faith and community groups."

Two more free courses will take place in Letchworth on 9 October. If you have a public facing job and would like to attend go to the following website to book:

For further information on where to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse go to: or

Newly recruited Community Champions